Like many people taking part in the Healthy Harold Hundred, Kriquet Thompson is passionate about raising awareness on the issue of bullying.
Having seen people she cares about experience the trauma of bullying during their primary and high school years, when Kriquet saw a story on the news about the Healthy Harold Hundred, she signed on for the challenge straight away.
“Just seeing the effects bullying has had on so many people that I love, it just makes it so much more real,” Kriquet says.
“Having to see someone who is such a strong representative in your life, covered in bruises, is an awful thing. Bullying can have an extreme impact on a person’s mental health too, and that has a big impact not just on the person being bullied, but their family as well.”
The 100-kilometre event has also been a great fitness challenge for the 23-year-old Peregian Beach woman, who has a degree in paramedicine and is currently studying nursing, majoring in paediatrics and mental health.
“I’ve been doing half walking and half bike riding. I recently had my knee reconstructed so I’m just doing what I can, when I can,” Kriquet said.
“A few times, I’ve been at the gym on the bike, and it occurs to me, ‘I can handle this’. It’s one hour out of my day, and there are children who are affected by bullying throughout their whole day, so it gives me the push to keep going.”
Although she is almost at her fundraising goal of $500, Kriquet would love more people to sponsor her – with every dollar raised, supporting Life Education Queensland’s respectful relationships programs in schools.
“Especially now with social media, it’s not just at school that children experience bullying, it can continue for them when they get home,” Kriquet says.
With fond memories of the Life Education program from her own primary school years, Kriquet wants other children across Queensland to experience the benefits of empowering health and safety education, and strategies to deal with bullying online and face to face.