A FOURTH successful Active Farmer Games were held in the Riverina town of Coleambally, NSW, home to 660 people, who turned out to support, cheer or participate in the community building event, in March.
The games involve a rural based obstacle course of climbing hay bales, jumping fences, balancing on irrigation pipes and crawling through mud all for the not-for-profit charity organisation which provides motivational, challenging and fun training sessions to help promote great physical health and mental wellbeing in small farming communities.
Local cotton farmer and Active Farmers board member Joe Briggs said holding the games in his home town was a great opportunity to showcase what the region has to offer, with local businesses offering up prizes and local suppliers providing some of the obstacles.
"Even the RFS were involved to help keep the mud pit muddy and hose participants down afterwards," Mr Briggs said.
"We had 30 teams of three people take part and over 20 volunteers, as well as the kids' event, a DJ, gumboot throwing comp and the spectators that helped cheer everyone along.
"Everyone I've spoken to has had a great time, and importantly we brought the community together and raised money for a great cause."
Corteva Agriscience was the major sponsor of this year's games and sent a team to Coleambally to help with and compete in the event.
Corteva communications lead Karen Deane said it was the second year she had personally attended the Active Farmer games, having missed out on the Western Australian event due to COVID.
"Both times I have seen such great community involvement, and Coleambally really turned it on this year," she said.
"The energy, excitement, and the sense that everyone is in this together really helps build strong communities.
"I'm so proud that my company, Corteva, sponsor amazing charities like Active Farmers that help build strong resilient communities, in areas that lack the support and facilities of their city cousins."
In addition, Corteva partnered with MSCAN - Melanoma Skin Cancer Advocacy Network - to provide free skin checks to the community of Coleambally during the morning of the games.
Tamara Dawson, founder and director of MSCAN said the skin checks were welcomed.
"We know that people working outdoors and working on the land are exposed to damaging UV rays up to 10 times more than indoor workers," Ms Dawson said.
"And in worrying news, farmers in Australia have a 60 per cent higher death rate from melanoma compared to the general population."
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