Indigenous men touch down in Canberra

A squad of six Indigenous men will today arrive in Canberra for their first training camp as part of the 2012 Indigenous Marathon Project New York Marathon squad.

Following the success of the women’s camp last week, Korey Summer from Alice Springs, Justin Gaykamangu from Ramingining, Kieren De Santis from Tiwi Islands, Marius Clarke from Gunbalanya,  Jurgean Tabuai from Townsville and Nat Heath from Newcastle will be finish the camp one step closer to running the world’s most famous race, the New York Marathon.

Under the guidance of World Champion marathon runner, and former Australian of the Year, Rob de Castella, the men, many from tiny remote communities, will be put through their paces over the intensive five day camp that will include the beep test, elements of the Certificate III in Community Recreation (Indigenous Healthy Lifestyle), and a 16km time trial.

For 19 years old Kieren De Santis, the icy streets of Canberra will be a world away from the remote community of Milikapiti in the Tiwi Islands. Kieren was inspired to apply for the Project to challenge himself, and to become a role model for his community.

“Now that I am in this position, I just have to prove that I can stick with the program and do the training right so that I can get somewhere,” he said.

“This will change my whole world. I have to look for a new challenge instead of doing the same thing over and over.”

The team will take part in a 16km time trial on Friday, putting their training and hard work into practice. This will be the longest that most of the men have ever run.

While in Canberra, the men will also complete elements of their Certificate III in Community Recreation (Indigenous Healthy Living), which will assist them in obtaining employment within the sporting domain.