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Ultimate physical challenge

Thursday, September 2017

Step into Life Cheltenham’s ultimate physical challenge

 Read how these inspirational steppers are helping to prevent violence against women.

By Harriet Edmund

When Donna Douglas and seven of her Step into Life Cheltenham crew hit the Northern Territory’s Larapinta Trail on September 15, they will have one thing in mind.

They want to help break the cycle of violence against women.

This month, the team are taking part in Inspired Adventures Trek for Respect and have raised more than $30,000 for White Ribbon in the process.

“Last year I had a friend physically abused and a member that had been verbally abused for a long time,” says Donna.

“It creates so much despair and a lack of power over your life. It just needs to stop and White Ribbon are all about education – which is where real and significant change can occur.”

In fact, according to White Ribbon, over a 12-month period on average, one woman is killed every week as a result of intimate partner violence. While domestic violence is the principal cause of homelessness for women and children.

Donna shares how the team have prepared for the five-day ultimate physical challenge in Central Australia and how the adventure – and its important cause – has brought them closer together.

Why did you decide to take part in Trek for Respect?  

We wanted to do something in Australia which had a local feel. We all train together and have a fabulous community because we know that together we are stronger. Together we can make a difference for White Ribbon. We also love a physical challenge and we can’t wait test ourselves in Central Australia.

How have you trained for the event, which will cover more than 60 kilometres in five days?

In additional to our usual training sessions, every fortnight for the past 20 weeks we have been heading to a national park in Victoria. We have also made this a fundraising opportunity by inviting members to come and join us. It has been fantastic to do something a little different and explore our local national parks at the same time. 

Describe the trail and what you think it will mean physically and mentally for the team? 

Physically the team will be fine as they all train consistently and regularly. Mentally, it will be challenging to be away from home for the week in unknown territory – without internet access!

What are the benefits of doing a group fitness event like this?

We have a real sense of achievement and that we are part of something that is creating significant change. We are doing something that we could not have achieved without each other. And, we have had to learn to work together, which is interesting without the boundaries of a work environment. The best part is, we’ve been able to include all Cheltenham members. Even though, some member could not do the trip, they could still be involved and share in the achievement.

Why did you choose White Ribbon and how much are you hoping to raise? 

White Ribbon is all about education – which is where real and significant change can occur. Our target was to raise $30,000, which we have now exceeded thanks to the generous donations of our friends, family and community. Giving back in this way is a totally self-less act and we all feel amazing because of it!

To donate to Step into Life Cheltenham’s inspirational Trek for Respect visit Steppers United.  



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Ultimate physical challenge