A NEW initiative aims to kickstart health goals while raising money to support health promotion programs in Wimmera Aboriginal communities.
Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative has encouraged people in its community and their families to join in a RunRona walk at the weekend.
Participants can choose to complete a five-kilometre, 10-kilometre, half or full marathon walk or run on Saturday or Sunday.
Co-operative health and wellbeing programs manager Dean O'Loughlin said he jumped at the chance to get involved.
"It's a perfect way to get people together separately," he said.
Mr O'Loughlin said people could complete their chosen run or walk at any time across the weekend.
He said Goolum would cover the RunRona entry fees for anyone from its community who participated.
"We've started getting a fair bit of interest," he said.
About 50 people had already registered.
All money raised will support grassroots health promotion programs in Aboriginal communities through Spark Health.
Mr O'Loughlin said the distance between the Horsham Soundshell and the weir at the Wimmera River in Horsham was about 2.5 kilometres, so people who covered the distance and back could achieve their five-kilometre walk or run.
"To make that more special there will be a couple of selfie frames either end of that," he said.
He said people could take photos and post them to social media, tagging Goolum Goolum.
Mr O'Loughlin said Sunday was also World No Tobacco Day and relevant messages would be allotted along the path as well.
Comic book character Deadly Dan the smoke-free man was created in 2017 as part of a Goolum Goolum and Victorian Aboriginal Health Service initiative to educate communities and children about the harmful effects of smoking, and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
His messages will be on display along the river.
Deadly Dan's sidekick the Wutchie the goanna will complete the run.
Mr O'Loughlin said the event was more than just a Horsham initiative, and community members across the region including in Halls Gap, Stawell and Ararat would also get involved.
He said the event was a good way to get out in nature and be part of a group activity, without breaking social distancing measures.
He hopes there will be similar events in the future as well.
Mr O'Loughlin said anyone outside of the Goolum community could sign up for RunRona here.
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