You don’t need to be the fastest: IMP wants strong people with purpose

The Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) has started looking for potential New York Marathon runners.

Head coach Adrian Dodson-Shaw is touring the country to find Indigenous Australians who are willing to commit to a year of hard physical and mental growth.

The tour has been to Adelaide, Port Lincoln, Alice Springs and Hermannsburg in the NT and is set to visit Victoria before finishing in Canberra on February 16th.

Dodson-Shaw says they’re not looking for the fastest runner, just people who have a strong purpose and commitment to changing their lives.

Michaela Skuthorpe, a 2018 graduate, remembers her longest run was a 2km race in high school, before she tried out for IMP 12-months ago.

“I never felt so connected to my country until I started running,” Skuthorpe said.

The 30-year-old completed the New York Marathon at the end of last year along with 10-other graduates of the program.

“You don’t understand how you can make brothers and sisters within a night of sharing stories. Every camp, sharing the stories and struggles with these brothers and sisters,” she said.

For Torey Rickerby, the program was nothing short of life changing.

“Throughout the whole project, we started the year with our purpose and why we wanted to be involved. That was reinforced pretty much at every camp,” Rickerby said.

“I think it’s pretty empowering being surrounded by such positive people. I think that’s an unintended outcome of the program. You come into camp and it’s a complete safe space for you to talk about anything, no one is judging you.”

The IMP takes Indigenous men and women between the age of 18 and 30. Applications can be made on the day.

By Keiran Deck

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