The small community of Yirrkala in Arnhem Land, has been named the 2012 Deadly Fun Run Champion community, following the inaugural Deadly Fun Run Championships, held in Uluru over the weekend.
Runners from five Indigenous communities crossed the finish line on Saturday morning, with runners from the National Indigenous Training Academy also taking part.
The Deadly Fun Run Series, new initiative of Rob De Castella’s Indigenous Marathon Project, aims promote healthy living and increase participation in running in remote Indigenous communities.
De Castella is hopeful that the event will grow to become a major event on the running calendar, with participation increasing annually.
“The enthusiasm shown by every athlete who ran on the weekend was incredible, and if they can take that enthusiasm home and help it grow, then we are going to end up with something really amazing”, he said.
“Communities are already planning their next series of fun runs, and I have no doubt that the level of community participation is going to get bigger and bigger.”
A number of outstanding performances were recorded over the three and five kilometre course, with Yirrkala in the Northern Territory taking out the overall community Championship, closely followed by Yarrabah in Queensland and Kununurra in Western Australia.
The highlight of the day came from youngest competitor seven year old Kaysan Madua from Napranum in Queensland, as she crossed the finish line in fifth place with a great run.
Winning athletes and communities were presented trophies by Indigenous Health Minister, Warren Snowden on Saturday evening overlooking Uluru. While at the Championships, athletes also took part in a guided tour of Uluru and the Sounds of Silence dining experience.
The Deadly Fun Run Series, and Championships were funded by the Indigenous Sport and Recreation Program, and aim to reduce smoking and the consumption of soft drink in Indigenous communities, while promoting healthy living.