Walking to Origin to help charity
WHAT started off as a joke between mates three years ago has led to Matt Rawle walking from Brisbane to Sydney and raising money for charities along the way.
Being a mad Queensland State of Origin supporter, Mr Rawle said to his mates one night that he would go as far as walking to a State of Origin game to prove Queenslanders were the more passionate side.
“After three years of speculation I have decided to walk the walk,” Mr Rawle said.
Mr Rawle began his journey from Brisbane on Thursday morning after Queensland's victory at the second State of Origin clash.
“I have three weeks to make it to Sydney for the final State of Origin where I will have the honour of flipping the coin,” he said.
To stay on schedule Mr Rawle will have to complete approximately 50kms each day.
Saturday's walk started at 7am from Bestbrook Mountain Resort and he arrived in Warwick at 1pm.
Mr Rawle said he was a bit sore from the previous day's walk over Cunningham's Gap.
“It was a real killer,” he said. “I was not able to train as I had been suffering with a knee injury which did not heal until a couple of weeks ago.”
However his position as coach of the Dallas rugby team in Texas, USA, for six months of the year keeps him relatively fit.
“My mates keep ringing me to make sure I'm actually walking and not in the support car,” Mr Rawle said.
“You can definitely tell I've been walking from the soles of my shoes and the blisters on my feet.”
On Saturday morning Mr Rawle had already raised $10,000 for charities such as the McGrath Foundation and the Luke Priddis Foundation, while also raising awareness for the Red Cross.
“I figured if I was going to do the walk I may as well do it for a purpose, other than proving my mates wrong,” he said.
Mr Rawle chose these particular charities as he and his friends have had family members affected by breast cancer and autism.
When Mr Rawle's sister was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago he dyed his hair pink in support of her.
“My sister is OK now, but I still sport the pink hair; it's kind of grown on me,” he said.
For this part of the trip Mr Rawle was joined by Sean Tingcombe who organised to have a couple of weeks off school to participate in the walk in support of a friend with autism.
An impressive $1200 was raised in Warwick over the weekend.
Mr Rawle continued his journey down the New England Highway yesterday to Stanthorpe before leaving for Tenterfield this morning.
“I will just keep trudging on,” he said. “It will take a broken bone to stop me.”
To find out more about the walk or to make a donation go to www.originwalk.com.au