On Wednesday 21st October sixteen Year 10 students and three staff members from St Teresa’s Catholic College set out with a goal to run or walk 915kms in 13 hours as part of the Darkness to Daylight Challenge. Due to restrictions the event that is usually run overnight in May at Southbank, Brisbane was unable to go ahead. Many people have joined the challenge virtually racking up kms each day in October. This small group of dedicated students are passionate about the cause and ended up being the only group to participate in an overnight run.
With the assistance of Noosa Council, a course was selected along Noosa River, and a date set. Students had been participating in an awareness program at the College that had stretched into months, with the initial delay due to COVID-19. As part of the program there was physical training, climbs up Mt Coolum and walks in Noosa National Park. Undertaking random acts of kindness and developing an understanding of the problems cause by domestic violence gave these young people a new perspective.
Each student is given the story of a survivor, someone they run for through the night. They read the stories and get a glimpse into a world they otherwise may never know about. A special event in the program is a dinner where they hear directly from a survivor about her story. Their lives are changed forever by this evening.
Lining up last Wednesday they lit candles and prayed before setting off at 5.30pm to break previous records with the intention of setting some new records. As night closed in, locals stopped to ask what they were doing. As they walked, they explained why they were there; people were giving donations on the spot or going to the official website to make donations to support their cause. In the middle of the night the winds howled, and the rain came – still they ran. With sore feet and tired bodies, they steadfastly chased down their goal, supporting each other all the way. At 6am they joined as a group for their final lap.
This group smashed all previous records in the College. Each student achieved their 50km goal. One student ran 64 kms, setting a record for most kms run by a student. As a group they ran 940 kilometres overnight and raised over $6800. They raised money, achieved goals, created conversations, and inspired others. On Thursday they had a well-earned rest. The Darkness to Daylight Challenge of 2020 was an incredible journey facilitated by a quality program in the College. Congratulations to students Tayte, Sienna, Paris, Cheyenne, Kyan, Emele, Hannah, Lizzie, Caris, Jack, Sean, Gemma, Isabelle, Anna, Steele, and Kiara – it was a champion effort. A huge thank you to staff Mark, Leigh and Meegan who lead this program.