Glenbrook’s Andrew Grima can be seen running in the Lower Mountains three times a week in preparation for the Coleman Greig Challenge - Western Sydney’s largest charity race, held each year in Parramatta Park.
The race on September 21 raises money for children with special needs and newborn care.
Mr Grima’s drive to support children and their families started after spending a day helping out at a charity that supported kids with special needs. Later on, he saw newborns being assisted by a specialised care bed in Westmead Hospital, after which he understood the importance of providing assistance to disabled children, as well as the hospital equipment and support resources necessary in raising healthy children, and wanted to make a difference.
Shortly after the birth of his first child, the Penrith-based lawyer also decided to start running to improve his health and fitness. This led to a passion for long distance running.
Mr Grima decided to combine his desire to keep fit with his passion to support children in need, and in turn established a fundraising race.
In 2013, he used the resources of his law firm and business network to establish the Coleman Grieg Challenge, which to date has raised more than $584,000 for children with special needs and new born care.
“This year the challenge will take place on Friday, September 21 and involve teams from a wide variety of western Sydney businesses, as well as nurses, doctors and sporting celebrities,” said Mr Grima.
“People love the challenge as they see it as a great opportunity to get fit, have fun and give back by raising money for children with special needs and newborn care.
“Participants have four challenges to choose from, including; 10km run, 5km run, cycling challenge or a 2.5km walk.”
“Each year the challenge continues to grow in popularity, and in 2018 over 580 participants aim to raise over $225,000 to help children and families in need.”
“This year, funds raised will be donated to St Gabriel’s School for students with special needs, the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, as well as the Westmead Hospital Foundation.
“The money raised goes towards the purchase of vital equipment which make a real difference to the lives of children. The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children will use funds raised through the 2018 Challenge to produce more braille books, tactile pictures and other Alternative Format Publications (AFP) to support kids’ development and inclusion in society.”
“Similarly, the Westmead Hospital Foundation will use the funds to purchase two Cardiotocographs (CTG). These lifesaving machines are used to monitor the unborn baby for distress, and to determine the need for urgent intervention to prevent conditions such as cerebral palsy, developmental delay and intellectual disability.”
People can support participants help raise funds by making a donation through the gofundraise page at https://colemangreigchallenge2018.gofundraise.com.au.