71 days after setting off from Cairns, former NRL and Origin star Chris Walker arrived back home from a gruelling 1,800km journey from the Far North Queensland tourist town, with the Today Show there to greet him.
Walking along the beach from Surfers Paradise to Kurrawa Park, Chris was joined by a hoard of supporters including sporting mascots from the Titans and SUNS, Deputy Mayor Donna Gates and a number of councillors, all there to celebrate Chris’ amazing achievement.
Trekking through rugby league heartland, it’s been a massive challenge for the former NRL star. With each of the 2.5 million steps, Chris has created awareness and raised over $200,000 for charities Beyond Blue, Alcohol and Drug Foundation, and Rizeup Australia – all charities that have witnessed unprecedented demand for their services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This walk has been the most incredible, inspiring thing I have ever done,” Walker said.
I wholeheartedly believe that if we want to come back stronger post-COVID, we must support the most vulnerable Australians.”
Throughout the mammoth journey, Chris has also been joined by a host of former State of Origin greats and Fund My Challenge Ambassadors including Nate Myles, Logie winner Lincoln Lewis, Olympic Gold Medallist Stephen Bradbury, and Australian Cricketer Chris Lynn.
While he knew to expect it, Chris was constantly amazed by the generosity of Queenslanders. Their stories of resilience and hardship gave him the added resolve needed to get up each day and travel the daily 30kms required to achieve his goal.
“I was incredibly motivated by Australian individuals, families and communities still reeling from the long-lasting impact of COVID-19. The walk was my way of helping them to fight back and assist those who have felt the impact of poor mental health, suicide, drug and alcohol, and domestic violence abuse.” Walker said.
“There was not one chance I was going to go home and not complete this journey.”
On arriving home on the coast, Chris was gifted with two cheques – one by The Lottery Office for $10,000 and the other by Oscar Oscar Salons who not only added $5,000 to the challenge tally but also cleaned up Chris’ 71-day old beard!
We want to thank everyone who has and continues to support Chris on this journey, we are ecstatic to see what this money is going to do.
It’s not too late to show your support, dig deep and help these incredible charities. Just $5 can make a world of difference.