Press Release •  16/3/2022

Active Famer Games Coleambally

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A fourth successful Active Farmer Games was held in the Riverina town of Coleambally, home to 660 people, who turned out to support, cheer or participate in the community building event. The Games involves 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 organization which provides motivational, challenging and fun training sessions to help promote great physical health and mental wellbeing in small farming communities.

Joe Briggs, local Cotton Farmer and Board Member of Active Farmers said “Holding the games in my hometown 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!

Joe Briggs, cotton farmer and board member of Active Farmers with Karen Deane from Corteva Agriscience
Joe Briggs, cotton farmer and board member of Active Farmers with Karen Deane from Corteva Agriscience

We had 30 teams of 3 people take part and over 20 volunteers, including the local Volunteer Rescue Squad manning the first aid station. The kids loved having their own event and mini course. There was also a DJ, a gumboot throwing comp and the cheer squad that helped 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 proud to be the major sponsor of this year’s games and sent a team to Coleambally to help with and compete in the event.

Justin Sampson & Jess Stevenson, Board Members of Active Farmers, with Nick Koch & Amelia Dennis from Corteva Agriscience
Justin Sampson & Jess Stevenson, Board Members of Active Farmers, with Nick Koch & Amelia Dennis from Corteva Agriscience

“This is the second year I have 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” says Karen Deane, Communications Lead “The energy, excitement and the sense that everyone is in this together really helps form a network of support. 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 & Professor Alan Cooper from MSCAN (Melanoma and Skin Cancer Advocacy Network) with Dr Greg Crosland, leading dermatologist from Sydney.
Tamara Dawson & Professor Alan Cooper from MSCAN (Melanoma and Skin Cancer Advocacy Network) with Dr Greg Crosland, leading dermatologist from Sydney.

Tamara Dawson, founder and Director of MSCAN says “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. And in worrying news, farmers in Australia have a 60% higher death rate from melanoma compared to the general population. We also know that too many people have been avoiding skin checks over the past two years, so we’re encouraging people to get their skin checked. It was wonderful to be able to partner with Corteva to provide what could be lifesaving skin checks to those in the community. A leading Sydney dermatologist Dr Greg Crosland worked tirelessly to see over 30 people during the event. 

Mary Briggs, one of the many Active Farmer Games Volunteers
Mary Briggs, one of the many Active Farmer Games Volunteers

Building resilient communities is at the forefront of the Active Farmers mission, having an impact on the physical and mental health of rural towns. As well as the fundraising events such as the games, run for resilience and ride for resilience, Active Farmers provides regular group fitness classes by qualified trainers in remote and rural areas where facilities can be lacking. So far, they service over 50 small farming communities, with this growing all the time. For more information or to find out if there are any classes or events near you visit https://activefarmers.com.au.