IMP open applications to find the next group of Indigenous champions

When the Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) first met Charmaine Patrick a year ago, the mother of two from the tiny Northern Territory community of Hermannsburg could barely run a lap of the oval. Fast-forward almost nine months and Charmaine proudly wears her New York Marathon finisher’s medal around her neck having recently conquered the world’s biggest marathon alongside her 10 IMP teammates. She has quit smoking after 15 years, has completed a Certificate IV in Health and Leisure and she is now seen as a hero in her small outback community, all because she put her hand up to do something that she never thought possible. Charmaine is one of 32 Indigenous runners, some from the most remote communities in the country, who has changed their lives by being part of IMP and conquering an international marathon. With applications for IMP 2014 officially opening today, there is now a chance for another group of outstanding young Indigenous people to step up and achieve what may at the moment seem impossible. Under the watchful eye of World Champion marathon runner and IMP founder Rob de Castella, squad members will spend seven months training and preparing for the marathon. On top of that they will undertake a Certificate IV in Health and Leisure, and learn to push themselves and their body beyond what they ever thought possible, both physically and mentally. If you are an outstanding young Indigenous male or female aged between 18-30 who has the passion to make a difference and a willingness to help us promote health and wellbeing in Indigenous communities, then you could be exactly what we are looking for. No formal running is needed, just a positive attitude and a commitment to achieving your best. IMP founder and director Rob de Castella said over the past four year, the Project had become so much more than running a marathon, but instead was showing Indigenous people that if they put their mind to something and work hard, they could achieve anything.  “To see the look of complete joy and self-belief on the faces of our athletes when they achieve what they once thought to be impossible is truly amazing, and to see them realise that they can in-fact achieve anything they want in line is what IMP is all about,” he said. “Being part of IMP and running a marathon will open many doors and present many opportunities that will not only change the lives of the athletes themselves, but the lives of their families, friends and communities back home. We’re all excited to meet our next crop of athletes, and can’t wait to see what they can achieve.” If you think you, or someone you know, has what it takes to run, sweat and inspire and be part of a once in a lifetime opportunity, visit the IMP website and complete an application form. IMP will release more details about the annual tryouts tour in the New Year, so sit tight! To apply for IMP 2014, click here.