Darkness to Daylight Challenge goes local for St Teresa’s students


St Teresa's students light candles before setting out on their 940kms walk/run

A GROUP of passionate students at St Teresa's Catholic College, Noosaville, went local in their quest to highlight the scourge of Domestic and Family Violence for this year's Darkness to Daylight Challenge.

Every year the college sent a group to Brisbane for the annual challenge, which is run overnight in May at Southbank, Brisbane.

But with COVID-19 restrictions in place this year, the Brisbane event was cancelled.

With the assistance of Noosa Council, a course was selected along Noosa River, a date set, and a goal put in place to run or walk 915kms in 13 hours.

St Teresa's 16 Year 10 students and three staff members, the only group to participate in the overnight run, joined others from across South East Queensland who were locally racking up kilometres for the cause.

As a group, they ran 940 klms overnight breaking previous college records and raised more than $6,800.

In the lead up to the challenge, the students participated in an awareness program that helped them develop an understanding of the problems caused by domestic violence.

As part of the program, each student was given the story of a domestic violence survivor, someone they would represent as they walked or ran through the night.

These stories gave them a glimpse into a world they otherwise may not have known about.

They also heard directly from a domestic violence survivor during a special dinner.

The program also included preparation for the challenge with physical training, climbs up Mt Coolum and walks in Noosa National Park.

Attending a virtual conference with Darkness to Daylight Challenge founder, Rob Reed

On the day of the challenge the students lit candles and prayed, before setting off at 5.30pm with the intention to break records.

As night closed in, locals stopped to ask what they were doing.

After explaining their cause, people gave donations on the spot or went to the official website to make donations to support them.

In the middle of the night the winds howled, and the rain came – still they walked/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.

The dedicated but exhausted group smashed all previous college records with each student achieving their 50km goal.

One student ran 64 kms, setting a record for the most kilometres run by a student.

It was a champion effort by students: Tayte, Sienna, Paris, Cheyenne, Kyan, Emele, Hannah, Lizzie, Caris, Jack, Sean, Gemma, Isabelle, Anna, Steele, and Kiara and staff members Mark, Leigh and Meegan, who all enjoyed a well-earned rest the following day.

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