The Woolwich Observer

They’ll cover plenty of ground in the next 48 hours

Elmira men look to raise awareness and funds for youth mental health

- Justine Fraser Observer Staff

A GROUP OF ELMIRA MEN

are raising awareness about youth mental health with the launch of a fundraiser in which they’ll connect physical health to overall wellbeing.

The team will take part in a 4x4x48 challenge in support of youth mental health at North York General Hospital in Toronto. The four men will run, cycle or walk for four miles every four hours for 48 hours starting tomorrow at the CrossFit Elmira gym.

“The event kicks off Friday night at 8 p.m.

What we’re going to be doing is the four of us are actually bringing air mattresses and cots to the gym – we’re going to sleep here because there is only a couple hours in between each run,” said Geoff Demeulenea­re, who will be participat­ing alongside his three teammates.

Having now raised pledges in excess of $8,000, the team has long surpassed its goal of $5,000 in donations and will keep looking to increase that total until the end of the challenge on Sunday. All donations raised by the 4x4x48

‘Push Your Limits Goggins Challenge’ will go towards youth mental health programs at North York

General Hospital.

“We wanted to try to normalize the conversati­on around mental health and not separate it from our overall health. There shouldn’t be a distinct difference between those things. So, it was just about finding a way to bring that conversati­on to youth that might not know that there’s something like a CrossFit gym or sports team in their town that they could get involved with that might help them out.”

The fundraiser for

North York Hospital was created by The Maddie Project, which looks to provide support to families and youth by creating events like the ‘Push Your Limits’ challenge. The Maddie Project was created by parents in Toronto who lost their 14-year-old daughter to mental health challenges in 2015. The four men immediatel­y wanted to help and get a team together upon hearing about the challenge that’s taking place this weekend, March 4-6.

“We wanted to let people know there’s more to health then just physical. It’s about mental health too. Movement is great for anybody. We wanted to open up a bigger conversati­on about what health is,” said the

owner of CrossFit gym in Elmira, Kirby Martin.

Team CrossFit Elmira, as the team has dubbed themselves, has been getting ready for the past month, gearing up for the weekend ahead. They’ll be surrounded by family and friends cheering them on and participat­ing alongside.

“I’ve seen firsthand how exercise has made a big difference in mental health in myself and family and friends especially with just the stress of life, just to come in here and do a hard workout. It was a quick decision that I wanted to take part in something like this,” said Leroy Martin, one of the team members.

“It’s been particular­ly challengin­g for youth for the last couple years and just what’s going in the world today, the way social media really amplifies that. Bringing awareness to mental health is important,” added fellow 4x4x48 participan­t Chris Hart.

Anyone looking to donate for the cause can do so at www.pushyourli­mits.ca, where they will see Team CrossFit Elmira currently on the leaderboar­d for top fundraiser­s in the challenge.

 ?? Justine Fraser ?? Geoff Demeulenea­re, Leroy Martin, Chris Hart and Kirby Martin are bringing awareness to youth mental health with a fundraisin­g effort via the 4×4×48 challenge.
Justine Fraser Geoff Demeulenea­re, Leroy Martin, Chris Hart and Kirby Martin are bringing awareness to youth mental health with a fundraisin­g effort via the 4×4×48 challenge.
 ?? Justine Fraser ?? Team CrossFit Elmira will be taking part in the ‘Push Your Limits’ 4×4×48 challenge starting Friday at 8 p.m. until Sunday, bringing awareness to the improvemen­ts physical health can have on mental health.
Justine Fraser Team CrossFit Elmira will be taking part in the ‘Push Your Limits’ 4×4×48 challenge starting Friday at 8 p.m. until Sunday, bringing awareness to the improvemen­ts physical health can have on mental health.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada