When Richard Holt runs from Aspley to Maryborough later this month, he will push himself well outside his comfort zone.
It’s exactly where he wants to be, mirroring the feelings of young people he’s trying to help through his charity Bolting Ahead.
The founder of Holt Bolt launched the charity in April after almost a decade of working with young people of all abilities and those who are disengaged from school.
He will embark on the Bolt to Borough from September 23-30, running more than 30km a day to cover the 264km distance.
The first leg is from Aspley to Caboolture and from there he will head up through the Sunshine Coast hinterland and then onto Maryborough.
The Ocean View resident is hoping to raise about $20,000 and is off to a good start thanks to strong support from sponsors.
“The reason I want to do it is because I’ve never run before … I’m not a runner. My background is in power sports – athletics … I was a shotputter and discus thrower,” Richard explains.
“For me, running is completely out of my comfort zone. I think it would be easy to do something in short, sharp bursts … I’m 112kg and six foot four. It’s not your usual running build.
|“If you’re going to do something like this, you’ve got to put yourself out of your comfort zone because a lot of the young people that we work with are well and truly out of their comfort zones when they come into our programs initially and they find that within it.|
“I’m hoping that on this run, I’ll find my comfort zone because it’s going to be pretty uncomfortable if I don’t.”
Richard has had to balance distance running with managing and preventing injury during his training, but he’s feeling good as the run draws closer.
“I can see that I am going to do it. I think it’s more the mental game than anything not the physical. When I go out there, the body’s not going to be letting me down but I feel like (after) three or four days of 30km, it’s going to be more like ‘you’ve got to get up and go’,” he says.
“That’s the challenge that I wanted.”
Why run to Maryborough?
“When we first started Holt Bolt, the business that’s going alongside the charity, we started working with Jacko. He was one of my first bolters … we became very close. He taught me more than I taught him, I reckon in the first few years,” Richard explains.
“His mum decided she wanted to move to Maryborough and set up a business up there for Jacko. I said if she ended up going up there, we’d put a centre up there.
“At the same time, we started a charity working with young people down here on the (Redcliffe) peninsula at Redcliffe State High School.”
Richard and his team travelled to Maryborough and asked local schools if they would be interested in the charity running programs for them too.
“They said yes, so it’s going to be a secondary hub for Bolting Ahead. We’ll work with some of the youth up there to give them pathways towards employment,” he says.
About Bolting Ahead
The charity, which launched in April aims to provide opportunities for young people who may come from disengaged or disadvantaged backgrounds to find their purpose.
“People I have been talking to don’t feel like they’re worthy for a whole range of different reasons. The charity is aimed at finding a way for them to feel worthy, find a place that they feel secure and that they belong, and also receive the support to achieve their potential,” Richard explains.
“This is in terms of going into jobs and also community groups and volunteering as well.
“There’s a couple of different ways we do it. The first one is going out the schools and running school-based programs where we’re working with disengaged youth to be able to advise them on ways they would go into different careers. We’re also trying to teach them there’s alternative ways to engage in school as well and different pathways from that.
“The second one is when we go out to communities, like we are with Maryborough, looking at … actually creating groups of our own where they can come out to our centre.
“They can come and hang out and find their way in terms of … a group of people who are likeminded and also people who can show them there is a different path into jobs or a different path to going down the youth crime side of things that we’ve seen recently.”
Passion drives journey
Holt Bolt started in 2013 in the form of mud runs at Bald Hills.
“The first ever Holt Bolt we ran at Mimi’s House at Deception Bay (a charity supporting at-risk children). We used it as a fundraiser for Mimi’s House and that’s when I started working with some youth out that way,” Richard recalls.
“It’s probably one of my life-changing moments, to be honest. At that point, I realised I really wanted to be able to make a difference.”
By 2014-15, Holt Bolt had gyms and Holt Bolt kids, inflatable obstacle courses they took to schools.
“From there, I started working with kids of all abilities at different schools and I noticed that with our inflatable obstacles you could see massive increases in spacial awareness and co-ordination, and they were having fun,” he recalls.
“I thought maybe we should be looking more into centres that we can include our obstacles and we can do gyms and all sorts of things and see if that has a greater impact on the people that we were working with … kids of all abilities and needs.
“It did. We ended up working with Jacko. Within two weeks I ended up working with another 60 kids and we now work with 1200 kids a week, one-on-one across our centres.”
Richard now has six centres which are at Caboolture, Clontarf, Chermside, Aspley, Holland Park and Hervey Bay.
He is keen to continue to expand to fill in the region between Hervey Bay and Caboolture.
How to help
Anyone wanting to support Richard’s Bolt to Borough can do so via the Go Fund Me page
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