Sunday Mail - Body and Soul - - FRONT PAGE -

“Will was only 20 when he passed away and he con­tin­ues to be a huge in­spi­ra­tion,” Bon­sey says. “He was an amaz­ing surfer but due to his con­di­tion he felt trapped in his own body. It was painful to re­alise that he’d never again en­joy the par­adise of be­ing sur­rounded by a pris­tine ocean.”

Less than six months af­ter his brother’s death, on a busy sum­mer’s day in Bondi, Bon­sey was ap­palled to see the beach cov­ered in a blan­ket of garbage. The keen run­ner grabbed two empty sacks and de­cided to com­bine his evening work­out with a clean-up. To his sur­prise, another run­ner stopped and asked if he could help. The next Sun­day they in­vited their friends along and since then, through so­cial me­dia, it’s grown.


A 2013 CSIRO study found that for ev­ery Aus­tralian, there are 5.2 pieces of rub­bish on our beaches, and over 70 per cent of ma­rine de­bris is plas­tic. On a typ­i­cal Sun­day, the Re­spon­si­ble Run­ners’ haul in­cludes ev­ery­thing from take­away con­tain­ers and plas­tic cutlery to dis­carded chil­dren’s toys and lost phones.

“In Bondi alone, we’ve picked up more than 4.5 tonnes of garbage so far,” Bon­sey says. That in­cludes 2300 cig­a­rette butts in a sin­gle 30-minute ses­sion,

The Re­spon­si­ble Run­ners Bondi group af­ter a clean-up

Want to burn calo­ries and ease your con­science? Join the “eco-ex­er­cise” move­ment, writes Amy Mol­loy

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