Geelong footy bouncing back with burpees

October 13, 2021 BY

Left to right: Cats players and Read The Play ambassadors Mark O'Connor, Danielle Higgins and Mark Blicavs. Photo: SUPPLIED

SPORTING bodies in the greater Geelong region are bouncing on the opportunity to join a burpee challenge and raise money to create a mentally healthier future for young people.

Melbourne-based mental health not-for-profit Orygen is encouraging individuals and organisations to get involved in the Burpee Bounce Back Challenge to help the 1,534 Australians aged 17 and under that are diagnosed with a mental illness every day.

Read The Play is partnering up with the Geelong Cats and AFL Barwon to take part in the challenge with Cats players and Read The Play ambassadors Mark Blicavs and Mark O’Connor signing up.

Challenge participants will need to complete 1,534 burpees in the space of 17 days between October 11 and October 27.

Read The Play general manager Michael Parker was thrilled to be partnering up with the two footballing organisations to raise funds and awareness for Orygen, stating the partnership facilitates their main objective in educating young people at the local club level.

“One of the key things about our program is being able to teach young people at their local clubs about being able to refer them to services for their mental health,” Mr Parker said.

“So in order for us to be able to do that, we need some strong services. And the idea that Orygen came to us with around the Burpee Bounce Back Challenge to raise much needed funds to improve and increase the amount of services in the region, allows that to happen.”

Read The Play has a long-standing relationship with the Geelong Cats so it was only fitting for the nine-time premiers to jump on board the Bounce Back Burpee Challenge.

The Cats will set the benchmark for local clubs to follow suit, but AFL Barwon has the ability to reach out effectively to the clubs under their umbrella and has already committed to putting any effort they can spare towards this month’s challenge.

“Our friends at Read The Play were taking part in the Orygen Burpee Bounce Back Challenge, so we were excited to join their team in raising awareness and funds for youth mental health,” AFL Barwon acting commercial partnerships manager Nathan Ervin said.

“The past two years have been extremely challenging. Kids have missed the outlet that footy and netball provides, so any effort as an organisation that we can make to help in this regard is a no brainer.”

Orygen states that if doing 1,534 burpees is too much, participants can also ask their friends and family to form a team to split the burpee load and help improve their mental health and fitness too.

Head to for more info or donate to the fundraiser at

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