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Meet Deeks’ next crop of stayers

A new 12-person squad of Indigenous runners has been chosen to tackle this year’s New York Marathon as the Federal Government announced it will invest another $3 million in Robert de Castella’s Indigenous Marathon Project.

Indigenous Marathon Foundation coach Adrian Dodson-Shaw said the team was selected after visits to 19 communities and interviews with 140 aspiring runners across Australia.

They will compete in New York in November.

The male runners are Otis Carter (Port Lincoln, SA), Damien Crispin (Broome, WA), John Hill (Dubbo, NSW), Cyrus Morseu (Badu Island, Queensland), Torey Rickerby (Perth, WA) and Jikola Whyman (Melbourne, Victoria).

The female runners are Jessica Bartholomew (Inglewood, Queensland), Loren Fejo (Darwin, NT), Debra Hegarty (Gordonvale, Queensland), Rachael Howard (Thornton, NSW), Michaela Skuthorpe (Brewarrina, NSW) and Rikki Wilson (Adelaide, SA).

IMF director and marathon great Rob de Castella said he was thrilled to welcome the squad to the program and to their first camp in Canberra.

“In just eight years, 75 young Indigenous men and women have been through the IMP, emerging as inspirational, qualified and respected leaders and health promotion role-models,” Mr de Castella said.

“It is what they do after IMP that really matters, drawing on their new skills, confidence and qualifications to drive and inspire change.

“I look forward to working in partnership with the Department of Health, Indigenous communities and our graduates to continue to spread our strong message of ‘run, sweat, inspire’ throughout the country.”

Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt this month announced the Federal Government would invest another $3 million in the not-for-profit project.

Mr Wyatt said the commitment would allow the http://www.imf.org.au/IMF to continue the popular program for another three years.

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