Former Grafton cricketer Kara Sutherland pounding the treadmill to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention.
Former Grafton cricketer Kara Sutherland pounding the treadmill to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention.

Kara's doing hard yards for mental health awareness

GRAFTON cricket star Kara Sutherland will be back in her home town later this month on a mission to raise awareness about mental illness and how seeking help can save lives.

Ms Sutherland, who pads up for Queensland Fire in the women's national league and the Brisbane Heat in the Women's Big Bash League, will be in Grafton on May 26 and 27 at the Grafton Hockey Association bunker for a 24-hour treadmill marathon to raise money for Suicide Prevention Australia.

Ms Sutherland said she started raising awareness of this issue in 2014, joining a movement called Plebs, Pros & Personalities for Suicide Prevention Australia (PPP4SPA).

"I first got involved as a runner in 2014, after my best friend lost her dad to suicide," she said.

"After seeing what her family went through in the aftermath, I decided I had to do something to try to limit the number of families who experience this."

She said she had organised similar events in Sydney and Brisbane in 2015 and 2016 and decided to bring the event to Grafton this year to continue the conversation about suicide and getting help when you need it.

"After organising last year's Brisbane event, I decided this year I wanted to try and help a community that means so much to me…I think it's incredibly important to bring this close-knit community together."

She said Suicide Prevention Australia deputy CEO Kim Borrowdale would attend the launch of the event on May 26 and former Australian star Sara Coyte would be one of the runners.

Ms Sutherland said anyone can take part on one of the three treadmills that would be available.

"One treadmill will be occupied by the 'pro' team - myself and four others, who will be running for the entire 24 hours between us," she said.

"The other two treadmills will be open to the community. People can register online to come on down and jump on the treadmill ($20 = 15 min), with the aim to have all treadmills occupied for the entire 24 hours.

"I'll be inviting local personalities including sportspeople, council members, prominent business people, Jacaranda Queen candidates and others to come on down and walk/run/dance for a time slot."   

KEY INFORMATION

What: PPP4SPA 2017 treadmill marathon

When: Friday May 26, 6.30pm - Saturday May 27, 6.30pm.

Where: Grafton Hockey Fields (out the front of the Bunkhouse).

How to join up: Register to run/walk/dance/skateboard - $20 = 15 mins on the treadmill, head to https://www.everydayhero.com.au/event/ppp4spa2017/, click "Register to Run" and then scroll down to the Grafton link. People can then choose their timeslot, and are more than welcome to register for multiple timeslots.

More info: Contact Kara Sutherland on 0401 589 057 or check out the Plebs, Pros & Personalities for Suicide Prevention Australia Grafton event Facebook page.