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IMF Fun Run kicks off Reconciliation Week activities at UC

Elly Mackay

26 May 2023: To kick off National Reconcilitation Week, the University of Canberra community gathered in the Ngaladjima Gardens on campus to participate in the annual Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF) Fun Run.

The fun run and walk encourages staff, students, and community members to celebrate the continuing work of the University and the IMF to promote an active lifestyle in the local community and across Australia.

The event is the result of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organisations that was first signed in 2017, before being renewed in 2020.

The University’s partnership lead, Lecturer of Sport Management Stirling Sharpe, said the run is a reminder of the benefits associated with outdoor exercise.

“Each year, when UC and the IMF come together for this event, we’re reminded of the really positive outcomes that come along with walking and running with friends and colleagues,” Mr Sharpe said.

“It’s also a timely reinforcement of the great relationship we have with the IMF, leading into Reconciliation Week. We run together on a path to reconciliation.”

The 2023 event saw 147 participants across the 2km, 5km, and 10km running and walking categories. University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Paddy Nixon said the University is delighted to have an ongoing relationship with the IMF.

“It’s a really deep partnership – we’ve done many things together including fundraising. They’ve funded scholarships for UC students and we’ve worked together on collaborative projects,” Professor Nixon said.

“This is exactly the sort of thing that universities should be doing – working with our community.”

The event was also an opportunity for UC and the IMF to announce the UC U-RAW Club – University Running and Walking Club – an extension of the successful IMF-RAW program, which has more than 40 clubs throughout Australia.

IMF-RAW is a community owned, driven, and delivered program that exists to launch First Nations people through running, walking, and healthy living. This will be the first university-based club.

Mr Sharpe said the UC U-RAW club will deliver much needed physical activity for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff and students.

“The club will offer a genuine opportunity for staff, students, and community members – Indigenous or not – to walk together toward reconciliation,” he said.