Thousands of competitors from across the nation and even overseas will be arriving on the Gold Coast for Australia's premier endurance event, The Kokoda Challenge, which takes place 13th and 14th of July 2013.
Teams have been training for months to take on the ultimate team challenge event - a gruelling 96kms of rugged Hinterland terrain that must be completed within a time limit of just 39 hours. And there is a good reason behind this distance and time - 96km is the length of the actual Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea and the 39 hour time limit is in honour of the 39th Militia, the first Australian Troops to set foot on the Kokoda Track.
As well as the physical and emotional challenge, teams must also meet an important fundraising challenge - with all money raised by the event going towards the Kokoda Challenge Youth Program (KCYP) to help teenagers to reach their full potential.
"This year is set to be bigger and better than ever with well over 500 teams taking part." Kokoda Challenge Association Founder Doug Henderson said.
"We have teams coming from WA, Victoria, NSW, Northern Territory and even New Zealand, in addition to our Brisbane and Gold Coast teams. And what's really inspiring is the school teams involved in the event. Over 200 teams from schools are set to walk the 96km Stan Bissett Cup or the no less daunting 48km Jim Stillman Cup."
"It is a positive event that really inspires people to do their best; to push that little bit further and test personal limits, while at the same time making a real difference to the lives of teenagers."
Mr Henderson said that 38 kids who are currently part of the Queensland Kokoda Challenge Youth Program will be competing in the Challenge event as a precursor to heading to Papua New Guinea in September to walk the Kokoda Track and visit local villages.
The KCYP revolves around the qualities of endurance, courage, sacrifice and mateship - which are embodied by the example set by our Aussie diggers on the Kokoda Track.
"I believe the Kokoda Challenge event is a fitting tribute to those brave men who stood firm on the Kokoda Track. I am sure their qualities of endurance, courage, sacrifice and mateship will be drawn upon once again this year by our Challenge competitors."
The Kokoda Challenge Association
The Kokoda Challenge Association (KCA) is a charity established to support young people to reach their potential and raise awareness of the heroic efforts of Australian soldiers on The Kokoda Track in PNG. We help people from all backgrounds, with a focus on young people and their families, particularly those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged. The Kokoda Challenge Youth Program (KCYP) is a 12-month program for young people aged 15-18 with the main goal to build resilience, self-esteem and life-skills that support young people into adulthood. The KCYP is funded by money raised through annual events, in particular The Kokoda Challenge. Included with this event are the Schools' 96km Stan Bisset Cup and 48km Jim Stillman Cup. Our events have participants of all ages, promote team and community spirit and support healthy and active lifestyles.