THE year eight boys at East Fremantle Power Junior Football Club will do a 5km fun run on Rottnest next Sunday to raise money for the Kai Eardley Foundation.
The foundation helps young men develop emotional resilience and reduce youth suicide rates.
It was formed by East Fremantle’s Claire Eardley after her 20-year-old son Kai tragically took his own life in 2016.
Year eight footie coach Mark Austin says the club is proud to support the local charity.
“The majority of our team has grown up and lives in the area, so supporting a local charity where the boys could develop a connection and see the Foundation working within their own community for years to come was important to me,” he says.
“The pride they have showed in this cause has been a pleasure to watch – to say I am a proud coach is an understatement; they are a great group of young men to work with and the families I have met through this football team I now consider my friends.
“It is fantastic watching the boys give back to their community and come together as a group to make a positive difference in the world.”
Mr Austin says the boys train twice a week, but for the first time this year they did a six week pre-season to really improve their fitness.
“The goal of the 5Km Fun Run is to finish the event knowing everyone will be at a different level, whether that be as a front runner setting a personal best time or having to stop regularly to walk and catch your breath,” he says,
“We are all at different levels but the challenge remains the same – push yourself to greet that finish line knowing there are people out in our community that do it a lot harder than us on a daily basis.”
Mr Austin and the 22 players are busy getting sponsorship for the 5km run on Sunday June 13.
“So far they have raised $4000 of their $5000 target,” he says.
“We have also approached a number of local businesses to get behind the cause and support us too.
“The team had a stall at last weekend’s Palmyra Primary School Farmers Markets to raise awareness of the foundation, educate the community on our cause and show how the donations will assist those people in need via delivery of Tomorrowman Workshops and Seminars.”