Zachary’s Mental Health Awareness Challenge

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Many of us see the Great River Walk around the Nepean River as a relaxing way of taking in some of the area’s picturesque landscapes. For local man Zachary Ryan, he saw this as a challenge, flipping a 130kg tyre around the 6.4km loop whilst setting himself the goal of raising $10,000 for charity.

Zachary’s Let’s Make a Flippin’ Change Challenge took place on Sunday the 30th of August, starting at 3:00am in the morning and finishing at 7:35am, in a gruelling time of 4 hours and 35 minutes. The inspirational feat helped to raise funds for the mental health charity LIVIN.

“My motivation for the event was to raise awareness of mental health. This was due to it being such a pressing issue and I believe we have all been affected by it, whether it be personally or of a loved one or a friend. I wanted to be able to make a difference and to try and get the community talking about mental health as much as possible. The organisation LIVIN helped me by providing a platform of which I could make some noise” explained Zachary to the Emu and Leonay Gazette.

With the help of his GoFundMe page, he has raised just over $12,000, which includes $11,550 in donations from the public and a $500 cheque from St Mary’s Rugby League Club.

Training for the challenge was quite intense, consisting of a gym-based strength program mixed with cardio as well as flipping the heavy tyre regularly along a 20m stretch in front of his house.

“Including the Nepean River flip, I had flipped the tyre roughly 35,000 times for 70kms. This was for a total of 43 hours, 18 minutes, and 55 seconds” he added.

Completing the challenge was a surreal moment for Zachary, having loved ones, friends, and the local community at the finish line to support him.

“It was a mixture of relief and pride. Receiving messages from people in the community letting me know how this has impacted them was one of the highlights of the whole experience. I started this challenge hoping I could impact or just have a positive influence on one person, through the support of many. There was none bigger than the lads from the Penrith Men’s Walk and Talk. I can quite honestly say, I am sure I have made a positive impact. However, I’m definitely not satisfied, and I want to do more to negate such a growing issue” he ended.

Donations can still be made at Zachary’s GoFundMe page at https://gf.me/u/ymdz7f.

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