AT THE weekend, Drysdale Football Club held the 30 for 30 challenge to remember much-loved former junior coach Ryan Gatgens, and to raise money for a valuable cause.
The club encouraged people in the community to get 30 minutes of exercise on Saturday, with 30 also being the number Ryan Gatgens wore on the field.
They decided to also raise funds for Hope Bereavement Care, a Geelong based not-for-profit organisation that provides counselling and support to people grieving the death of a child, the sudden and unexpected death of an adult and those experiencing loss after suicide.
Senior co-coach Luke Matthews said the club set themselves the challenge of together covering the 2,300 odd kilometres it would take to get to Uluru on the day by walking or running.
“About four or five weeks ago, the senior group, we did a bit of a virtual running challenge where we covered the distance from Geelong to Adelaide, which is roughly around 700 kilometres. And we did about 900 (kilometres).
“We thought we would do something again but make it more inclusive for the whole club: juniors, women’s football, netballers, but then also supporters, sponsors, the whole club and town. We thought we would do it in memory of Ryan Gatgens, who sadly passed away last year, and also try to raise some money and awareness towards mental health.”
Matthews’ fellow coach Daniel Jull said the community responded brilliantly to the challenge, covering more than twice the 2,300 km target they had been set.
“We smashed the target, and we made it all the home as well. It also raised quite a lot of money for Hope Bereavement, which was fantastic.”
Matthews praised the togetherness people showed.
“It was unbelievable, it really exceeded our expectations. It was fantastic for not just the whole club to get involved in, but the whole club and community.
“We ended up raising just over $9,000 for Hope Bereavement. It was great to raise some money for them and some awareness for mental health.
“It shows the strength of the Drysdale Football Club and the town to come together for such a great cause.”