Wallabies champion Phil Kearns has joined the Reset Challenge – teaming up with Sir David Martin Foundation to help vulnerable young people seeking help for drug and alcohol addiction to get well and stay well!
Mr Kearns was announced today as the Ambassador of Reset Challenge, the Foundation’s new online fundraising campaign, which runs throughout September as part of Youth Recovery Month.
Sir David Martin Foundation has been helping young people in crisis for 30 years, and is the primary funder of Mission Australia’s Triple Care Farm in the NSW Southern Highlands, a best practice, holistic treatment centre for young people affected by drug and alcohol issues. In that time, over 3,000 young people’s lives have been saved, with 200 students each year now supported through the program’s Rehabilitation, Withdrawal and Aftercare components.
Well known internationally for his rugby prowess, fitness and philanthropy, Kearns has committed to daily ocean swimming for the month of September as part of the Reset Challenge, to help raise awareness and funds to support youth-specific drug and alcohol treatment programs.
“Ocean swimming is a fantastic way to reset your mind, body and soul,” said Kearns. “It’s great for all round strength and conditioning as you are using all of your body even your legs. Your upper body does get the most work but for your breathing, fat burning and strength it is a great form of exercise.
“One of the guys that swims down at Manly calls it ‘his daily pharmacy’ as he gets all the vitamins and minerals he needs from the sea.”
But Kearns says it’s the mental health benefits of ocean swimming that he finds most valuable.
“The mind just feels free in the water. You can let your mind wander and get absorbed in the underwater world – fish, the sting rays, the turtles and sometimes dolphins – all living and swimming together.”
A keen life-long swimmer, Kearns is an active member of the Mosman Swimming club, often hitting the water with swimming mates and his eldest daughter Tilly – an Australian representative water polo player.
But even for an elite athlete like Kearns, the daily schedule of work and family commitments can sometimes put healthy habits on the backburner.
“I’ve always enjoyed ocean swimming, but work and life do get in the way. We all get busy and our priorities can get skewed. But the kids have now left school, and with current flexibilities of working from home, the time is right for me to take this Reset Challenge and commitment to a new healthy habit.”
His advice for others looking to Reset their lives? Don’t stretch yourself too far!
“Start with an easy goal, like doing something new for only a month and achieving that will build confidence for you to go further and you do that one for another month and keep stretching yourself from there. The goals have to be achievable and achievement builds belief.
“That’s why the Reset Challenge is a perfect way to get started. Choose a personal challenge that appeals to you – it’s not meant to be a punishment – just something that you are motivated to try. Stick to it during September and after a month you might find it’s turned into a habit you can sustain long term. Best of all, you’ll be supporting a great charity that is doing vital work for young people!
“I’m a father of four young adults. I know the world can be a very challenging and sometimes lonely place for young people. Ensuring vulnerable young people get the right help early to overcome addiction can set them up for success and put them on track for a better life.”
Sir David Martin Foundation General Manager, Helen Connealy said the fundraising campaign’s focus on forming new healthy habits mirrors an important part of a young person’s recovery journey – where support is given to create and maintain new healthy habits for life beyond the program.
“As the major funder of Mission Australia’s Triple Care Farm, our Foundation supports young people as they progress through the program, ensuring they receive the expert help and support they need to get well, and stay well, long term.”
“However, the need is great and ever increasing – especially as the ‘new normal’ of this pandemic delivers unprecedented mental health, social and economic challenges for all young Australians.
“Now more than ever young people at risk need access to best-practice treatment and support to break free from the constraints of drug and alcohol addiction and build a healthy future.
“We do hope that the community will support our Ambassador Phil Kearns and all those taking the Reset Challenge to raise essential funds and give safety, hope and opportunity to all vulnerable young Australians.”