After six months of intense and rigourous training, commitment, and education - the 2022 Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) Squad all became international marathoners and graduated through the IMP after respectively competing in the New York City Marathon, and the Athens Authentic Marathon.
The Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) is a six-month health, wellbeing, and leadership journey. The project uses running to change lives and provide a renewed sense of empowerment, purpose, and pride.
Each year, 12 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people between aged between 18-30 are selected to train for the biggest marathon in the world in November, the New York City Marathon. No prior running experience is necessary.
Squad members will meet at set times throughout the year to participate in a week-long camp, which consists of meeting inspirational leaders, participating in an official running event and completing an education component – before final selection into the squad that will run the New York City Marathon. Members are supported by IMP Head Coach Damian Tuck, and world marathon champion Robert de Castella.
Education is a compulsory part of the IMP program, and all squad members are required to complete:
a Certificate IV in Indigenous Leadership and Health Promotion
a Level 1 Recreational Running Coach Accreditation through Athletics Australia
CPR and First Aid qualifications
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid
Members of the squad push their physical and mental boundaries to a new level. We use the marathon to support you to realise that you can achieve anything.
Using their skills, knowledge and qualifications, IMP Graduates become healthy lifestyle leaders and return to their communities as agents of change, inspiring and encouraging people in their communities to adopt active and healthy lifestyles.
The IMP covers all costs for members of the squad throughout the IMP year including travel to and from camps, accommodation, education costs, equipment, and uniform etc. (excludes any personal spending money during camps).
Since 2010, there are now 132 IMP Graduates who have ran a marathon and become change-makers within their communities.
Open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 18 to 30, IMP is not looking for the fastest runner. Instead, those who are passionate about becoming positive role models in their communities, who want to drive change and promote healthy lifestyles, are encouraged to apply.
The successful 2023 squad will have to complete four national camps in the lead-up to their Marathon. They will also take part in the project's education component.
The application process includes an online form, and attendance at a try-out event. Try-outs will consist of a 3km timed run, and applicants will also be informally interviewed by IMP staff about their motivation for wanting to be involved in the Project.
The national try-out tour will commence in February 2023.
IMP Information and images courtesy of the Indigenous Marathon Foundation here.