Mansfield footballer and a group of mates are running more than 300km in Tasmania in a bid to raise money for suicide prevention.DAMEN FRANCIS January 30, 2014 4:10am
Mansfield footballers Ben Fagan (second from right) and Tim Orchard (third from right) are running 300km from Burnie to Hobart to raise money for suicide prevention. Picture: Chris Kidd, The Mercury
Goulburn Valley Football League star Ben Fagan is taking the idea of a pre-season run to a whole new level.
The Tasmania-raised Mansfield footballer and a group of mates are running more than 300
Fagan’s long-time friend Mitch McPherson founded not-for-profit group Speak Up Stay ChatTY in honour of his 18-year-old brother Ty, who committed suicide last year.
The week-long Tour de Tig — Ty’s nickname — is the group’s most ambitious project yet.
Fagan, 26, said raising awareness was just as important as funds.
‘‘It’s a taboo subject, people don’t like talking about it, so we’re trying to get people to, as the slogan says, speak up if you’ve got any problems and to ask people if they’re okay,’’ Fagan said.
‘‘We’ve had a lot of people come past and donate and give us their stories about what might have happened to them, so that’s been pretty rewarding, meeting people that really appreciate what we’re doing.’’
The seven runners — assisted by a five-strong support crew — run in shifts and each run up to 15
The journey began on Monday with the 100
From there it heads south, with the aim of reaching the state capital by Saturday night.
There are all sorts of charity events along the way to help spread the word and raise funds, including running onto Launceston’s York Park prior to a Ricky Ponting tribute Twenty20 cricket match tonight.
Fagan said Eagles coach Simon Dolling and president Quinten Thomson were aware of his commitment and hoped they showed some leniency when it comes to the club’s pre-season training camp the following weekend.
‘‘I’ve told the coach and the president, so I might have to have a lighter week on the track next week,’’ he said.
Among the other runners are Tim Orchard, who played a handful of games for the Eagles last season, and Rohan Swan, who Fagan is trying to coax to the club.
Fagan, a damaging midfield-utility, said he was looking forward to his fourth GVFL season and was confident the Eagles could improve on last season’s ninth-placed finish.
‘‘We’re pretty positive. Apart from losing Josh Fraser we’ve kept most of our list from last year,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve actually got a few younger guys that played the last five or six games last season and hopefully another season for them will make us stronger depth-wise and we can push for finals.’’
Three Shepparton companies have received Victorian Government grants for their innovative practises.
More than 2200 people have signed up to show their support for a campaign to have the green route chosen for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.
The Rotary Club of Tatura has inducted four new members since the middle of last year.
Echuca tennis player Regan More and Echuca cricketer Taylor Beard are March 2014's Sportstar nominees.
Police are diverting traffic on the Midland Hwy south of Elmore following a collision between two trucks this afternoon.
Kyabram Bombers have the chance to beat Rochester under light for the first time this Friday evening.
Plenty of entries and an enjoyable afternoon.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Ashleigh Rogers took out the speaking and overall awards at the Lions Youth of the Year state final in Colac on Saturday.
Students took to Cobram library for holiday Easter-themed craft.
Following a massive win against the Deni Rovers on Saturday, the Bloods have hit top spot for the first time since 2009.
With his blue eyes and snow-coloured coat, Nanneella horse Sinatra has looks worthy of a fairytale.
Two drivers were lucky to escape injury after a truck and car collided on Midland Hwy near Benalla this afternoon.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.