Fun run returns in support of hospital

February 12, 2024 BY

Good cause: Funds raised through entries and donations to the Bendigo Ford Fun Run will go towards Bendigo Hospital’s children’s rehabilitation play space project. Photo: SUPPLIED

THIS year’s annual Bendigo Ford Fun Run is expected to be the biggest and best yet with more than two thousand participants to pound the pavement. 

Since the fun run was restarted by local businesspeople Geoff O’Sullivan and Nigel Preston after the pandemic, all profits have gone to Bendigo Health’s fundraising and foundation arm.  

All funds have gone towards the hospital’s children’s rehabilitation play space fund, $25,000 in 2022, and $40,000 in 2023. 

“This year we’re certainly aiming for a lot higher,” said Mr O’Sullivan. “We’ve already passed 1100 runners and we’ve still got a month to go.” 

Rachel Mason, director of fundraising and foundation at Bendigo Health, said through various initiatives over the past two years about $360,000 of the $700,000 needed for the project has been acquired.  

“It’s a great health message, it hits across quite a few things for us,” she said. “It’s really wonderful, and then the funds go directly to improving our regional health service.” 

At any time, 100 or more children receive treatment through Bendigo Health’s rehabilitation service. 

“Probably around half of them managing the challenges associated with cerebral palsy… a condition with no known cure, so early intervention is key,” said Ms Mason. 

“Children certainly play and enjoy rehab a lot better in a fun, engaging environment. 

“It helps the parents enormously by being able to have their children and siblings play side-by-side, work through rehabilitation sessions one-on-one to make sure their kids are safe when they go to school.” 

There are several different runs across the five-kilometre course including corporate and group options, 10-kilometre, and half marathon distances, and a one-kilometre Kids’ Dash.  

For more information and to sign up go to bendigofordfunrun.com.au.