Sand Storm to hit Swanbourne for soldiers
MORE women may do the heavy lifting at the second annual Great Western Sand Storm of runs and exercise through energy-sapping soft sand at Swanbourne Beach to raise money for the charity Soldier On next month.
“Last year, 70 per cent of those who entered were women, and their most popular event was the Sand Storm Circuit,” event organiser Mark Familton said.
The 500m circuit through sand near the Special Air Service’s Campbell Barracks is punctuated with demanding sets of pushups, sit-ups, squats and lifting sandbags.
“It beats a run on the beach because it’s more of a challenge,” Captain Lyndal Day (26) said.
Entrants can also tackle 50km, 42km marathon, a half-marathon, a 10km race or the 5km “fun run” or 2.5km legs up and down the beach.
The runs attract civilian fitness fans, including nurse and mother-of-two Emma Bentley (35) who will tackle 10km.
“I’m doing it to support a good cause with friends,” Ms Bentley said.
Founded in 2012, Soldier On was formed to assist with the financial, physical and emotional needs of defence personnel who served in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Soldier On’s events and activities aim to steer veterans away from post-service isolation.
Former navy communications specialist Sue Kingsley (50) is using the Sand Storm event as a goal to get back to her job as a St John Ambulance dispatcher, after she was treated for cancer for the past 14 months.
A fortnight ago, she took part in her first Swan River sculls rowing lesson, which was organised by Soldier On.
“My friends say they have noticed a change in my mindset after being around service people and their determination,” Ms Kingsley said.
Former and current ADF personnel and their families can enter Sand Storm free.
Organiser Mark Familton with Lyndal Day, Emma Bentley, Sue Kingsley and Elizabeth Woollard.