The Indigenous Marathon Foundation today entered a new era after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Canberra.
In just seven years, IMF has made running a normal activity for Indigenous people in remote communities, rural towns and major cities across Australia.
Education is a compulsory part of the IMP program (one of the IMF’s four key programs) and runners graduate with a Cert IV in Sport & Recreation, Level I Run Coaching Accreditation and CPR and First Aid Certificates.
Rob said it was an exciting development and one in which he was pleased to be involved.
“Education has and is a vital component of the IMP program – it’s not just about running.
“This MOU and partnership with the University of Canberra will enable our Project graduates to access opportunities in higher education and a large range of support services and programs they and their communities need, to continue to make a significant and positive difference.
“It will also enable IMF to work with UC and other universities and undertake ongoing evaluation and research to demonstrate the positive impact we are having across the country.”
IMF has been involved in a Sydney University project for the past two years, investigating the impact IMP has had on the tiny, remote Thursday Island community in the Torres Strait, home to four graduates of the IMP since 2014. Initial findings indicate that nearly 90 per cent of locals believe they have seen a significant and positive change in the community in the three years IMF has been active there.
Rob acknowledged the impact of the research, and discovering the ‘why’ and ‘how’ behind the IMP’s life-changing processes.
“It is important that we are able to demonstrate not just that we are making a difference, but understand why and how. These answers can then be applied across other programs and together we can address the many challenges we face, and that is one of the key things I am looking forward to, following on from this MOU with University of Canberra.”