87-year-old Colin Stracey has walked over 100 kilometres in laps around Belrose Country Club Retirement Village to raise money for a charity dedicated to mental health.
Colin Stracey, centre, walked 115km in a month by doing laps of Belrose Country Club retirement village. Here he is with his daughters Kim (left) and Nycolle (right).
Former milkman Colin Stracey has become a familiar sight striding it out on his twice-daily 1.5-kilometre laps around RetireAustralia’s Belrose Country Club Retirement Village, located within Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Earlier this year, 100-year-old British war veteran Tom Moore made global headlines when he raised around $60 million for the National Health Service by walking laps of his garden. In July, he was knighted by the Queen for his extraordinary effort.
Mr Stracey was part of a family team of eight raising cash for the Black Dog Institute during October, which was Mental Health Month.
His determination has lifted the hearts of other residents in the community, attracting waves and words of encouragement – with his efforts so far raising more than $640.
“I haven’t had anyone else from here join me yet, but they often give me a wave and speak to me as I go past,” said Colin.
He said he was surprised at the distance he had covered.
Although he has always kept himself fit, he had originally only aimed to cover 40 kilometres, but had managed more than double that.
His said walking for a cause had helped to inspire him.
Colin strides out daily, keeping fit while raising funds for mental health charity the Black Dog Institute.
“In my generation, mental health was and, in many cases, still is a taboo subject, but our children’s generation is a little accepting – but men in particular find it hard to talk about,” he said.
“Each member of our family team was aiming for 100 kilometres in October.
“It isn’t so much about the distance we walk, but the conversations we have along the way, the time spent together and the personal goals reached.”
Colin has been joined several times on his walks by daughter Kym Strode, who said she was proud of her father’s achievement.
“Dad has always walked for exercise but even more so now that he is living at Belrose Country Club, which has been a wonderful move for him.
“The family decided to enter this as a team because we believe it is an important cause and a topic that needs to be highlighted.”
Belrose Country Club Village Manager Dianne Bear said Colin’s achievements were a highlight among a range of local activities during Mental Health Month and had become a regular topic of conversation.
“At Belrose we believe staying active and having the opportunity to socialise and connect with others contributes significantly to an overall sense of wellbeing,” said Ms Bear.
To donate to Mr Stracey’s fundraising efforts, which will assist life-changing research into the prevention and treatment of mental illness, go to https://www.onefootforward.org.au/fundraisers/colinstracey
Belrose Country Club offers two distinct living options to cater to a range of needs, with 27 care apartments and 200 independent living units. Each strata-titled independent living unit is spacious and elegant with a choice of one, two or three bedrooms while the village’s care apartments, located within the Country Club, offer added peace of mind through daily care services.