Local children the big winners from fun run proceeds

Published 14 August 2012

Northern Rivers children will again benefit from the Darrel Chapman Fun Run, held at Southern Cross University, which this year raised $9000 for Our Kids to purchase an electrocardiography (ECG) machine for the Lismore Base Hospital.

To be used in the children’s ward, the ECG machine will measure a child’s or baby’s heartbeat to highlight irregularities or problems.

Rebekka Battista, Our Kids fundraising coordinator, received the cheque today from Associate Professor Wendy Gilleard, deputy head of the School of Health and Human Sciences.

Also present were Lismore mayor Cr Jenny Dowell and Barbara Chapman, the wife of the late Darrel Chapman, and representatives from sponsors Newcastle Permanent and the Lismore Worker’s Club.

Ms Battista said the fun run, which has raised more than $50,000 for Our Kids in the past six years, helped the charity advocate for improved children’s health services in the Northern Rivers.

“Two thousand children use the children’s ward at Lismore Base Hospital per year and one third of the babies born in the area use the special care nursery,” she said.

The ECG machine is worth $11,000, but Ms Battista said Our Kids had received additional donations to cover the cost.

More than 400 people participated in the Darrel Chapman Fun Run on Sunday, May 20.

It was coordinated by Southern Cross University lecturer Greg Downes and 12 students from his sports facilities and events unit.

“It’s a full-on practical unit. The students used all their theoretical skills in public relations, marketing and events in a real event. It was very successful again and to do it with just 12 students was a big effort,” Mr Downes said.

The fun run had a facelift, the first in its 17-year history.

“We rebranded ourselves. We created a new logo, which is the first time since the beginning,” he said.

Present at today’s handover was Andrew Polidano, Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science student who participated in the student team that organised the fun run sponsorship.

“We attempted to use papers written by Southern Cross University academics about sports sponsorship and we used some of their theories and applied them while negotiating with our sponsors. We wanted to help them align their brands with the event. It was about taking sponsorship agreements to the next level,” he said.

“It was a very educational role for me, stepping out and stepping up. I find this degree very practical, very applicable to my everyday life.”

The Darrel Chapman Fun Run is held annually in honour of respected academic and local sporting legend, Darrel Chapman, who passed away from bowel cancer in 1992. Mr Chapman captained the South Sydney Rabbitohs and went on to represent his country in the 1959-60 Kangaroo rugby league tour. He was also instrumental in the formation of the North Coast Academy of Sport, SCU's School of Exercise Science and Sports Management (now the School of Health and Human Sciences), and the NSW Academy of Sport.

Photo: From left, Andrew Polidano, Cr Jenny Dowell, Bec Herbert (SCU student), Barbara Chapman, Assoc Prof Wendy Gilleard, Ted Hoddinott (Lismore Worker’s Club), Rebekka Battista, Greg Downes, Andrew Virtue (Newcastle Permanent) and Clare Larsson (Our Kids intern).

Media contact: Shane Thamm 02 6626 9114, or Steve Spinks, media officer, Gold Coast and Tweed Heads, 07 5589 3024 or 0417 288 794.