Words by Jennifer Curtis
‘Yorga Baardanginy Boodja’ are the Noongar words for ‘women bounding’. After a year of training and ongoing fundraising, the deadly ‘yorgas’ from the Women with Wings Wellbeing Project in Perth are ready to hit the red earth at Uluru to run the Outback Marathon on July 25, 2015.
The Outback Marathon is a fitting event for this intriguing group of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women who have been drawn together by a commitment and passion for women’s health and wellbeing and the love of running.
In its inaugural year the Women with Wings Wellbeing Project has successfully seen a select yet diverse group of predominantly Aboriginal women participate in a structured and supported wellbeing program comprising of group fitness training, wellness preparation clinics and participation in other local running events. The group have inspired one another to keep meeting their respective goals, the ultimate goal being to start and finish the Outback Marathon at Uluru.
The significance of participating in the Outback Marathon is quite serendipitous with the theme for 2015 National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week, “We all stand on sacred ground. Learn, respect and celebrate.” A theme chosen to highlight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ strong spiritual and cultural connection to land and sea, and to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of the ‘Handback’ of Uluru to its traditional owners on 26 October 1985.
Founder of Women with Wings and group trainer, Kerryn Lambert affectionately known as ‘Madam Pain’ has been integral in providing group training sessions and individual guidance that has benefited participants to identify and reach their respective physical goals.
The objective of the Women with Wings Wellbeing Project is to improve the physical health of women and in turn the emotional, social and mental wellbeing that comes with a healthy and active lifestyle. The project is aimed at predominantly Aboriginal women but is inclusive of all women and fosters reconciliation and understanding by encouraging non-indigenous and culturally linguistically diverse women to join.
Fund raising events for the Women with Wings Wellbeing Project are ongoing. Please visit their Go Fund Me page to find out more about the project or to donate.