R U OK?
One of Australia's most respected personal trainers and R U OK? Ambassador, Steve Commando Willis, is back to lead the 2018 Conquer Kozi Challenge, an annual 18 kilometre charity walk to the summit of Mount Kosciusko.
Conquer Kozi is a partnership between R U OK? and Human Charity Challenge (the specialist fundraising division of World Expeditions). The return walk from Charlotte's Pass to the 2228 metre peak of Australia's mountain will take place on the weekend of 9-11 March 2018.
As well as challenging participants to Conquer Kozi, Commando Steve believes the hike is a great way to remind us all to support those who are going through tough times.
He is urging people to take up the Conquer Kozi challenge for R U OK? in 2018.
"Conquer Kozi is the perfect way to get your legs moving and your heart pumping, to talk, communicate, share, and connect."
"I really embrace challenge, no matter how big or small because there is always a gift or a lesson to be learned, whether it's a positive or something we perceive as a negative, there's always something we can take away that can help to effect change."
Commando Steve led the inaugural Conquer Kozi event last year, which raised and incredible $76,000 for suicide prevention.
R U OK? CEO Brendan Maher wants every Australian to feel confident to start a conversation with someone they are worried about.
"We love this initiative, it's all about community, conversation and collaboration. We hope as many people as possible get behind Conquer Kozi again this year," he said.
"We want the R U OK? message to reach every corner of the country. Asking, Listening, Encouraging action and Checking in can help more Australians support a friend, loved one or workmate who might be struggling with life."
"The funds raised for Conquer Kozi will contribute to new campaigns and resources to reach more Australians who really need it."
How Conquer Kozi works:
Participants who register for Conquer Kozi are encouraged to raise a suggested amount of around $700 (per person) for R U OK? and then conquer Kozi by completing the walk to the summit.
Travel costs for Conquer Kozi (9-11 March 2018) are $670 per person or $620 per person for teams of four.
This includes a $200 non-deductible registration fee, two nights multi-share accommodation in comfortable cabins in Jindabyne, return team transfers from Jindabyne to Charlottes Pass for the challenge, challenge t/shirt, expert local guides and support crew, two breakfasts, water, snacks and lunch on the walk and a celebratory BBQ dinner after completing the challenge.
Conquer Kozi is organised by Huma Charity Challenge, the specialist fundraising division of World Expeditions which provides travellers with the opportunity to adventure for a cause. In the past four years, Huma Charity Challenge has raised more than $4million for charities, worldwide.
Once registered, Huma Charity Challenge provides participants with a link to create their own fundraising page as well as a comprehensive fundraiser's guidebook.
For more information: www.humacharitychallenge.com
nterview with Commando Steve
Question: Why have you chosen to become an R U OK? ambassador?
Commando Steve: To convey the message of love and that each and every one of us are important and special.
Question: Can you tell us about what R U OK? Day means to you?
Commando Steve: Empathy, compassion and connection with our fellow human beings.
Question: How can Australians use R U OK? to support and communicate with their friends and family?
Commando Steve: By inspiring and empowering Australians to connect and have regular, meaningful conversations with anyone who might be struggling.
Question: What is the 2018 Conquer Kozi Challenge?
Commando Steve: By raising funds for R U OK? you increase our capacity to reach more Australians and help inspire regular, meaningful conversations every day of the year, and ultimately change lives. Funds raised help us: Create new campaigns and free resources to inspire regular meaningful conversations
Expand the campaign's reach so we're there to support more schools, workplaces and communities
Conduct more rigorous research and evaluation to continually improve our work.
Question: Who is joining you on the 2018 Conquer Kozi Challenge?
Commando Steve: Many who participated last year will be back plus plenty of fresh faces ready to tackle the challenge and share in the experience.
Question: How have you been preparing for the 2018 Conquer Kozi Challenge?
Commando Steve: Doing my regular daily training.
Question: How fit do we need to be to participate in the 2018 Conquer Kozi Challenge?
Commando Steve: Highly recommend a sound cardiovascular capacity with the ability to walk 18km at altitude.
Question: How can Australians support you and the cause?
Commando Steve: By registering and donating via the www.ruok.org.au website and sharing the message with their family and friends
Question: What do you hope to achieve, this year?
Commando Steve: To help create meaningful conversations and awareness with more Australians.
Interview by Brooke Hunter