Bribie Island mother and daughter Kate Maroulis and Lily Guy are lacing up their runners to take part in Life Education Queensland’s new fundraising challenge – the Healthy Harold Hundred to help stamp out bullying.
The state-wide event running this May urges Queenslanders to walk, run or ride their way to 100 kilometres in 20 days – that’s 5ks a day.
All funds raised will support the vital work of Life Education Queensland in travelling to schools in all corners of the state to teach respect, empathy, resilience and healthy relationships. These skills help to prevent bullying as kids are growing up, and help to break the cycle of future violence.
With five-year-old daughter Lily starting Prep at St Michael’s College, Caboolture this year, Kate says she strongly supports the anti-bullying message in schools.
“I really hope she doesn’t have to experience bullying. From what I see on social media, there are so many parents talking about bullying at various schools, but thankfully Lily’s school takes a strong stance against bullying,” Kate said.
“I was alarmed to read on the Healthy Harold Hundred website that children who bully others are more likely to abuse their partners later in life. We have to do all we can in schools to break that cycle.”
Kate already does a six-kilometre run every morning and has set an ambitious target of 200 kilometres for her Healthy Harold Hundred challenge with daughter Lily planning to clock up her own K’s by walking the family’s Labrador Sooty after school.
“I remember Healthy Harold and the Life Education experience from when I was at school and it was a wonderful experience,” Kate said.
“I’m excited to be involved in the challenge and Lily is looking forward to taking part as well. She told her teacher, ‘I’m going to be doing a lot of walking to get rid of all the bullies in all the schools!’”
Life Education Queensland CEO Michael Fawsitt said the initial response to the new Healthy Harold Hundred campaign had been phenomenal.
“It’s wonderful to see Kate and Lily showing their support by registering for the Healthy Harold Hundred challenge,” Mr Fawsitt said.
“Whether you are a family, individual, school or workplace group, there are so many good reasons to take part. Aside from participants getting fitter, funds raised throughout the campaign will directly support Life Education Queensland’s programs that focus on bullying and relationships.”
“These programs are vital because one in four Aussie kids is affected by bullying, one in five children experiences cyberbullying, and more than a million children are affected by domestic violence, so it’s imperative that we reinforce the concept of healthy respectful relationships throughout a child’s entire schooling.”
It’s a message that Kate and Lily are already role-modelling in their local community.
“I’ve always spoken to Lily about being respectful and kind. The most important thing in life is to be kind every day,” Kate says.
“When I pick Lily up from school, I ask her, ‘What’s the kindest thing you did for someone today?’”
This story was published in The Bribie Islander on 26 March 2021.