Gold Coaster Cassie Kendall is months away from completing a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University and is also the manager of Roller Door Espresso coffee shop in Bundall. Life Ed Queensland sat down with Cassie to find out what inspired her to take part in this year’s Healthy Harold Hundred.
What was your motivation for getting involved in this year’s Healthy Harold Hundred?
I have always felt passionate about combating bullying but never really knew what I could do to personally contribute to change. I have never been a runner and have been looking to challenge myself in that area, but always managed to make excuses. So, when I saw this Healthy Harold fundraiser to run for bullying prevention it was a no-brainer for me to get involved.
How have you seen bullying impact your community either during your school years, workplace or community?
I am very thankful and blessed to have never personally experienced bullying firsthand, however of course I have witnessed it throughout my schooling years, and to be honest, even more so throughout my working life. Cyberbullying occurs daily and at an alarming rate. Click on any post online and you can find evidence of this. Until people are educated to realise the impact that their words can have on people, the issue will only progress.
How are you completing the Healthy Harold Hundred challenge distance and meeting your daily kilometre target?
I decided to run the entire 100 kilometres! I am doing this challenge solo, and of course, with the support of all the epic people who have donated. I set myself a minimum of five kilometres a day, five times a week to ensure I stay on top of my target. However, I’ve managed to smash out a few longer runs which has allowed for a few cheeky days off. I am 60 kilometres down with nine days to go.
You’ve raised an incredible $3,638. It looks like you’ve had some amazing support from your work colleagues, friends and family. How have you been rallying your community to get behind you for the challenge?
I am so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such supportive people. I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined that I would raise over $3000! My initial goal was just $500, and I’ve just kept raising that goal to see how far we can push it. A huge shout out to my incredible customers who have contributed the bulk of the money that I have raised so far. Every day, they all check in to see how I am going with my running, which gives me that extra drive to smash it out. Many of my sponsors are parents, so they have been very enthusiastic and supportive of the challenge, knowing that it’s an important and incredible cause that needs action.
Did you attend the Life Education program at school? If yes, what do you remember of the experience with Life Ed Queensland?
Of course, I did! Who doesn’t know and love Healthy Harold? I think another contributing factor to the success of this fundraiser is how familiar the name and Life Education brand is.
I remember being so excited, year on year, when I would see the Life Ed van parked on the school oval. It was always a highlight! If these programs are implemented in the same positive way I remember, then I have no doubt they will be effective.
Why do you think it’s important to support Life Education’s respectful relationships programs that are delivered in schools?
I have known people to lack self-esteem as an adult due to the way they were treated in their younger years, and it is extremely difficult to rebuild once ingrained into the way you see yourself through your developing years. It’s so important that anti-bullying programs are implemented in schools where young children can learn the long-term negative and sometimes fatal consequences that bullying can have on people. If these programs are taught at a young age, there will be a much higher chance of preventing bullying in future generations.
What have you enjoyed most about taking part in the challenge?
I have enjoyed challenging myself physically, but even more so battling the mental side of things. I have gained so much discipline to smash out the 100-kilometre running goal I set myself, so I believe the challenge has done what I hoped it would do for me personally.
Another aspect I have really enjoyed is how it has brought my workplace community together. It just amazes me how much influence we can all have when we rally together for change. It has been an awesome experience and I can’t wait to see how much money we all raise together.