BDAFL support Kirrily Dear in her Ultra Marathon for Family Violence.

 

The truly inspiring Kirrily Dear is about to embark on a huge Ultra-Marathon from Broken Hill to the Sydney Opera House. The Steps Together Ultra-Marathon commences in Broken Hill at 7.00am on Wednesday August 30 before arriving 19 days later, on Sunday 17 September, at the Sydney Opera House. 

Ms Dear explained; "I will be running from Broken Hill to Sydney, covering 1300 kilometres in the process of doing that. On the day before the official start, I am actually going to run from the South Australian-NSW border, at a little place called Cockburn, to Broken Hill, a distance of approximately 50 kilometres, so that we can officially say that we have run all the way across the State". 

Ms Dear also explained that a Steps Together Virtual Challenge has been created for sporting clubs to "race against me". All of the details for this great challenge, plus other helpful information, are here: http://websites.sportstg.com/assoc_page.cgi?client=0-916-0-0-0&sID=191968&&news_task=DETAIL&articleID=57280205 .  

Ms Dear explained that it would be great if all of the BDAFL Clubs got involved with the Steps Together Virtual Challenge. "The idea is for Clubs to collectively run the 1300kms to mirror what we are doing with the Ultra-Marathon. It would be great to see clubs compete against one another to achieve the 1300 kilometres before I get to the Sydney Opera House on 17 September.  

Kirrily Dear is the major figure in the Run Against Violence initiative ( https://www.runagainstviolence.com/  ) a program trying to raise awareness of and prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, and when asked why she was undertaking such an arduous, difficult task, she explained "this is my skill set, I am an Ultra-Marathoner. After we completed the White Ribbon Ultra, an 860 kilometre run through country NSW, my support crew and I decided to form Run Against Violence.  

We wanted to take a much more inclusive approach to talking about Family & Domestic Violence, it is something that could happen to anybody, and we found that running was a comfortable way to get into an uncomfortable subject. We found on the last big run I did, people would come up and start talking about the running, and then they would start asking the uncomfortable questions, like what stories I had heard, or they might ask questions about things they don't understand in relation to Family Violence. Quite often, people would share their own personal stories, and this has been a re-occurring theme in the three years that we have been doing this. We have found that this is a great way to make people feel comfortable and talk about a taboo topic, it really isn't something that people have wanted to talk about previously". 

Ms Dear explained that Broken Hill was chosen as the launch of the Steps Together Ultra-Marathon as it is a remote community, a long way from the rest of NSW, where there is a lot of fantastic work going on. "We found that starting as far away as Broken Hill inspired people's imaginations. Starting so far away gives a really good cross-section of NSW, we pass through 25 communities on the way, starting at a place as remote as Cockburn right into the heart of Sydney. There is something very special in connecting with all of those communities and cultures and getting them to open up about Family Violence". 

1300 kilometres in 19 days is a massive task. Ms Dear advised that the plan is to try to do over 300kms in the first four days, to get a significant part of the journey done in the early part of the Ultra-Marathon. "We are planning to go through Sunset Strip, Menindee and Ivanhoe, then get to Forbes to coincide with the Forbes Show. After that, Orange High School is hosting a Public Event for us, that everyone is invited to. There will be a band playing and a BBQ put on, and we are looking forward to that. All the details are on our Facebook Page (go to Facebook and search Run Against Violence).  

Kirrily Dear explained that she decided to create the Run Against Violence program after a spate of murders in Sydney. "Three murders happened in quick succession, and all of the victims were murdered by a current or former partner. When I saw a photo of one of these three victims, I looked into her eyes and made a connection. I felt that if we had known each other, we would have been really good friends. She was the same age as me and looked like a high-energy person, similar to me. 

There was something that just struck me, and I heard that in news reports, one woman a week was being killed in Australia by a current or former partner. That figure seemed unbelievable to me, but after I did some research, the figure was actually higher. In that particular year, there were approximately 80 women killed by a current or former partner". 

Kirrily Dear is a truly inspirational person. Her commitment, energy, attitude, dedication and strong will are quite simply unbelievable. Ms Dear and the people involved with Run Against Violence program are actively helping the many victims of Family and Domestic Violence across the country by bringing their stories out into the open in an attempt to prevent the devastating consequences of violence in the home and/or being perpetrated by those close to them. 

The Black Diamond Australian Football League is very proud of its association with the wonderful Kirrily Dear and the Run Against Violence program. We encourage everyone involved in our League to get involved in the Steps Together Virtual Challenge to support the Steps Together Ultra-Marathon.