Alice Springs walkers clock up almost 3.5 million steps in lockdown challenge
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Alice Springs walkers clock up almost 3.5 million steps in lockdown challenge

Media Release - 11 June 2020

A Heart Foundation Walking Group in Alice Springs found a novel way to keep active and connected during the COVID-19 lockdown – and saw its members clock up almost 3.5 million steps in just four weeks.

The Active in Alice walking group is supported by Alice Springs Town Council. Like all Heart Foundation Walking groups across Australia, it has been paused during the coronavirus pandemic.

To encourage members to keep walking individually during the lockdown period, council created the Pace Makers Challenge. Participating walkers recorded their daily steps, and at the end of each week, these were tallied on a virtual leaderboard.

Nine walkers took part in the challenge. Astonishingly, over the course of the four weeks, they walked close to 3.5 million steps. This is enough to walk to Katherine and back.

Challenge winner Vicky Crowley walked a total of 936,872 steps. In the last week of the challenge, Vicky completed a full day’s hike, walking a total of 56,339 steps in one day.

Local businesses provided vouchers for first, second and third place with all participants receiving a certificate of participation.

Alice Springs Mayor Damien Ryan is the long-time volunteer Walk Organiser of the Active in Alice walking group. Mayor Ryan also participated in the Pace Makers Challenge.

“The challenge was a great way to keep our Heart Foundation Walkers motivated and moving during uncertain times,” Mayor Ryan said.

“Because of COVID-19, it was especially important to keep our walkers both safe and active, and this initiative did that”.

“Many Alice Springs walkers, including myself, were able to use this challenge to stay active while also staying connected with their fellow walkers,” he said.

The Heart Foundation’s Heart Health Manager NT, Sarah George, said keeping active is very important when it comes to heart health.

“Walking for an average of 30 minutes a day can help lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes by 30 to 40 percent,” Ms George said.

“It is fantastic to see that this challenge was so successful in encouraging participants to keep active and adapt to COVID-19 restrictions. More than half of Australian adults are not active enough for good health so the participants should be proud of their efforts over the four weeks.”

Heart Foundation Walking is Australia’s largest network of free walking groups. While groups are currently paused, it is expected that they can resume later this month. We will post the latest information at the Heart Foundation Walking web site.

When operating normally, the Active in Alice group meets on at 7am on Saturdays at Alice Springs Town Council. It is a dog-friendly group that walks for 45 to 60 minutes.

Heart Foundation Walking is supported by the Australian Government and the Queensland Government.

Media enquiries
Emily Goddard, Administration and Communication Officer, Heart Foundation
M: 0432 417 518 E: emily.goddard@heartfoundation.org.au

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