Coastrek – Australia’s iconic hiking challenge – has launched its new charity partnership with the Heart Foundation to shine a light on women’s and First Nations People’s heart health.
Tens of thousands of women, led by National Coastrek Ambassadors, former Olympic swimmer Libby Trickett and leading cardiologist and elite mountaineer, Dr Nikki Bart, will team up to hike and fundraise for healthy hearts.
The Coastrek Training Program and Event series, starting in Sydney in 2023 and spanning the country from coast to coast in five spectacular locations, will inspire and motivate wild women and men to get fit and raise funds for valuable research and initiatives to combat heart disease – the leading cause of death in Australia.
Coastrek Founder & CEO, Di Westaway OAM, said its more important than ever to get people moving: “The World Health Organisation has just given a dire warning that if we don’t increase our levels of physical activity, up to 500 million people will develop heart disease, obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases by 2030. We need to support people to make movement an enjoyable part of their daily lives and find fun ways to get active, like hiking with friends. Our lives literally depend on it.”
Since 2009, Coastrek has raised over $45 million dollars and motivated over 64,000 people to walk millions of kilometres in the wild with a simple training program followed by a 30 – 60km supported trek along some of Australia’s most spectacular coastlines. All this walking (and talking) aligns with the recommended 150 to 300 minutes of weekly exercise for good mental and physical health.
Under the new partnership with the Heart Foundation, funds raised by Coastrekkers will help improve heart health outcomes for women, build female leadership in vital heart research, help end rheumatic heart disease in Australia – particularly prevalent in Indigenous communities, and kick start children’s love for a healthy physical lifestyle through the Jump Rope for Heart program in Australian schools.
The Heart Foundation CEO, David Lloyd said that Coastrek will play a vital role in raising funds and creating awareness and engagement with heart health across the community:
“Coastrek is about inclusion, connection and working together to reach a shared goal of equity in health. It’s a great analogy for the heart health journey we are on as Australians. Despite decades of wonderful progress in the fight against heart disease, we must do more to ensure no one gets left behind.”
“By partnering with Coastrek, we will work to improve equity in heart health outcomes for women, young people and First Nations people. Funds raised by dedicated Coastrekkers will support research and programs that will drive these outcomes.”
Coastrek events in 2023 will take place on some of Australia’s most iconic and scenic coastlines including Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the Mornington Peninsula VIC, the Sunshine Coast QLD, the Fleurieu Peninsula SA and Margaret River WA aiming to raise over $7 million dollars.
Visit www.coastrek.com.au/events for further information and register a team for a life-changing challenge.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNDRAISING PILLARS:
The fundraising goal for Coastrek’s 2023 series is $6.5million, which will support four key heart health areas that will benefit all Australians:
Women’s Heart Health: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women in Australia with over 6,000 deaths each year. Despite this, evidence shows women are less likely to speak to their GP about heart disease or have a heart health check than men. Funding from Coastrek will support programs that educate, promote and deliver improved heart health care for Australian women and encourage more regular heart health checks to help identify and manage risk factors.
Supporting female leaders in cardiovascular research:
One Australian has a heart attack or stroke every four minutes and 45 people lose their lives to coronary heart disease every day, while coronary heart disease accounts for 1 in 10 deaths. The amount of $2,800 – just over the Coastrek team fundraising target – can support an aspiring Future Leader Fellow for one week to continue critical heart disease research.
Supporting the National movement to end Rheumatic Heart Disease in Australia:
The rate of rheumatic heart disease in First Nations Peoples is amongst the highest in the world. Rates increase with remoteness and are most prevalent in females and young people between 5-14 years. Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease are nearly entirely preventable with adequate preventative measures, early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Coastrek fundraising will support measures to end rheumatic heart disease in Australia.
Forming healthy habits through Jump Rope for Heart: Good heart health begins at an early age with proper education and healthy habits. Coastrek fundraising will help expand the long running Jump Rope for Heart program, taking it to over 400 schools across Australia and encouraging kids to develop a positive attitude towards exercise!
About Wild Women on Top and Coastrek
Established in 2004, Wild Women on Top is one of Australia’s largest and longest running women’s health movements. Their mission is to connect, coach and champion women in the in the outdoors through community hiking adventures and their flagship Coastrek program of events around Australia.
Since the first event in 2009, Coastrek has transformed millions of lives globally with over 64,000 trekkers in its 14-year history raising over $45 million, firstly through a nine-year partnership with The Fred Hollows Foundation, followed by a five-year partnership with with Beyond Blue. From 2023, Coastrek will hike for healthy hearts in support of the Heart Foundation.
In 2020, Founder & CEO Di Westaway was awarded an OAM for services to women’s health, fitness and charity services. She is an authority on lifestyle health and wellbeing and holds the world record for the highest handstand at 6,982m above sea level on Mt Ama Dablam, Nepal.
About the Heart Foundation
The Heart Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to fighting the single biggest killer of Australians – heart disease. For more than 60 years it has led the battle to save lives and improve the heart health of all Australians. Its sights are set on a world where people don’t suffer or die prematurely because of heart disease. Australians can discover their risk of heart attack or stroke by using the Foundation’s Heart Age Calculator. To find out about the Heart Foundation’s research program or to make a donation, visit www.heartfoundation.org.au
Wild Women on Top & Coastrek