Springwood Men's Walk and Talk taps into community need

A new initiative that helps men open up by talking and exercising has attracted strong support since starting in Springwood.

The Springwood Men's Walk and Talk group encourages men to get together and talk about whatever is on their mind in a friendly environment.

Forty-one men joined the first walk in November 2019, making their way along a 5km route across Springwood golf course to the Caltex service station on Hawkesbury Road and back again.

Organiser David Fodor said men of all ages and backgrounds have taken part in the regular walks so far.

"Some people are just doing it for the exercise. Some men are doing it because it breaks habits they have fallen into," he said.

While many men have been prompted by their wives or partners to take part, all have benefited from the experience. Research also shows that exercising in a group is better for mental and physical health.

There is no pressure to talk or open up, said Mr Fodor.

"Sometimes it's just listening that's important," he said.

Topics of conversation range from marriage break-ups to job losses.

Although men might normally change the subject when a personal topic comes up, walking is the perfect way to ease into a difficult conversation.

"Men don't like to make eye contact when they talk," said Mr Fodor, "but when you're walking you are looking straight ahead when you talk. It opens it right up."

The Springwood group has been supported by the Penrith Men's Walk and Talk which regularly attracts more than 100 men to its Thursday walks along the Nepean River. They are also grateful for the support of Springwood Country Club where the group meets every Tuesday at 6.30pm.

"One of our mottos is 'nobody walks alone'... Any new person is welcome," said Mr Fodor.

For more information, visit the group's Facebook page.