Bootcamp for bushfires

Some of the Bootcamp for Bushfires competitors. Back row from left: Kelly Evans, Nikki Wilesmith, Christine Cameron, Sarah Rial and Tanya Wilesmith. Front from left: Emma Moy, Charlee Blencowe, Carmen Gairn, Sal Moy and Brooke White.

Eight months following the postponement of Tumbarumba Gym and Fitness Centre’s Bootcamp for Bushfires event, the fundraiser will take place over the next two weeks with around 80 people involved. 

The event was meant to take place on March 28 – the weekend Covid-19 restrictions began to force businesses to close and events to be cancelled. 

With the Covid-19 situation now much better in Australia, event organisers have decided the time is right to gold the fundraiser. 

Across two Saturdays, November 7 and 14, eight teams of around 10 people will take part in the bootcamp-orientated event, all in aid of raising money for bushfire recovery. 

Currently, the effort has raised just over $5000, but organisers are hopeful this figure will reach $6000.

“After the event, we will speak with members who organised the bushfire support to establish the recipients that will be receiving the donations,” gym owner and event organiser Carmen Gairn said. 

“The cash will be used to purchase gift vouchers from businesses such as IGA, The Parade service station, Hammonds Hardware. These vouchers will be distributed evenly amongst the families who lost homes.

“We hope to finalise all of this by the end of November.”

Ms Gairn said the community has been very generous. 

“Our community have loved donating knowing we are giving back to local businesses and people whose homes were lost during the fires,” she said.

Despite the event still being held under Covid-19 restrictions, Ms Gairn said the fundraisers promised to be deliver fun in abundance. 

“We won’t be going through with our original plans and have taken to an outdoor course which will comply with Covid regulations and make the most of our local walking tracks in an ‘amazing race’ style event,” she said. 

“Now we are just hoping the rain holds off as we won’t be able to postpone it again.”

Kate Molkentin is team captain of the SWAT 1 (Sweaty Women and Teens 1) team. She said that seeing the devastation caused by last summer’s bushfires first hand motivated her to get involved with the fundraiser.

“Being from Tumbarumba, living through the bushfires and seeing a friend who’d lost everything really cemented my decision to be involved. I like to try and get involved on a local level, to see that funds raised stay local,” Ms Molkentin said. 

“I’m really glad it’s going ahead. I, like many others, would have been happy to call it a donation, but after the year that has been, it’s nice to be able to get together and get involved in a fun event.”

Ms Molkentin hopes the event will remind people that despite the bushfires happening almost 11 months ago, the scars, both physical and mental, still exist. 

“It’s really fantastic to see the community support. Again, it feels like so much has happened, but people are still able to dig in and chip in what they can. We’re so lucky to be in the generous community we’re in,” she said. 

“I hope it raises funds, obviously, but I also hope it reminds people that we’ve still displaced residents, people who are in limbo and struggling to ask for help. 

“Maybe remind people that giving someone a day’s work is far more valuable to them than we realise. We do need to check in on these residents. We’ve been so lucky with support, but it’s still a long road.

“I also want to have a good morning, with a great group of humans. I hope the weather holds off and we have a fine Saturday,” she said. 

The eight teams competing are SWAT 1, captained by Kate Molkentin, SWAT 2, captained by Jodi Thomson, Mannus Mad Dogs, captained by Kelly Evans, AvoCardios, captained by Jade Drew,  Burpees Outbreak, captained by Brodie Wiggett, Mixed Nuts, captained by Jo-anne Lorimer, Lifesavers, captained by Brendan McGuiggan and Drop it Like a Squat, captained by Kayley Dickinson.

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