Meet Bailey, a true Top Bloke legend who took on a mental and physical challenge like no other. For 100 days straight, rain or shine, this young man ran ten kilometres each day, and guess what? He absolutely smashed it!
But that's not all. Bailey didn't just run for the thrill; he ran to make a difference in the lives of others.
As Bailey crossed the finish line on his last Top Blokes run, he was greeted with hugs, cheers, and a few tears of joy from family and friends. And it's no wonder why - this young athlete accomplished something truly remarkable. Not only did he complete his final run with a marathon in the impressive time of 3 hours and 42 minutes, he also raised over $10,000 for a cause close to his heart: providing support and mentorship to other young males facing mental health challenges.
At just 17 years old, Bailey's courage and determination are awe-inspiring. He candidly shared his own struggles with mental health, recounting a difficult period during the 2019 COVID lockdown. School was tough, and Bailey found himself sinking into a state of depression. But then he discovered something that became his lifeline - running. During the lockdown, he laced up his runners and hit the pavement, finding solace and strength with each stride.
However, as the lockdown lifted, Bailey's anxiety increased, and he faced an uphill battle to return to school.
"When lockdown lifted my anxiety increased and my mood went down. I didn’t go back to school. These were some of my hardest days and nights, traumas that will stay with me for the rest of my life. My mental health surged worse than before," said Bailey.
Bailey's mum enlisted the help of a mentor, and, in just over a year - with the support and guidance of those around him - Bailey faced his fears again. While school didn't work out for Bailey, a significant turning point came on the day when he witnessed the incredible feat of Nedd Brockmann.
"On the 17 October I was so inspired. Nedd Brockmann finished his last run of Perth to Sydney. It gave me so much motivation. That day I told my mum I wanted to run 10kms every day for 100 days in the name of mental health and more specifically mentoring," added Bailey.
And so, the journey began. 100 days of discipline, perseverance, and unwavering resolve.
Sarah Hallab, Community Fundraising Manager, said,
"Nothing could deter Bailey. He knew that his efforts were for a cause far greater than himself. He's shown a maturity well beyond his years."
As Bailey's story spread, the community rallied behind him, witnessing a young man transforming his personal struggles into a force for good. And his efforts paid off in more ways than one. Not only did he prove to himself that he was capable of overcoming challenges, but he also raised a substantial sum of money, which will now be used to provide mentorship and support to other young males in need.
So, to you, Bailey, we say, "bloody well done!"
Your strength and resilience are an inspiration to us all. Your openness and courage have illuminated a path for others who may be facing their own battles with mental health. And most importantly, your determination has gifted other young men with the invaluable support of a mentor, guiding them through life's challenges.
From all of us, we extend a heartfelt thank you, Bailey. You've reminded us that even on the darkest days, there is light to be found. You've shown us that by standing together and supporting one another, we can make a real difference in the lives of those around us.