The Push-Up Challenge is Australia’s largest mental health and fitness initiative, with over 170,000 Australians joining in June to ‘push for better’. Participants are challenged to complete 3,318 push-ups over 25 days, putting the spotlight on the number of suicides in Australia in 2019, and raising money for mental health charities while doing so.
This year, 10 Agworld employees joined the ‘Old Bulls’ team to do push-ups throughout the month of June and raised more than $12,000 for mental health charities in the process. Mental health issues disproportionally affect rural Australia, with people in rural and remote Australia 50% more likely to die by suicide and less specialist resources available per capita, making initiatives such as the Push-Up Challenge very important for agriculture and other sectors that rely on rural Australians to thrive.
Old Bulls team captain, and Agworld Regional Manager, Graham Morgan says that supporting mental health organisations is something that everyone in agriculture feels very strongly about: “I think that everyone has been confronted by a family member, friend or colleague struggling with mental health challenges at some point in their life, and we all know that the effects can be devastating. It’s great to see so many people make donations and recognise that what we are doing is important; not only by raising funds but especially by raising awareness and making mental health a topic that people feel more comfortable speaking out about.”
Each day of the Push-Up challenge, the participants learned about mental health as the push-up target relates to avital mental health statistic in Australia. Over $8.5 Million was raised in total in 2021 through the Push-Up Challenge, making it the largest mental health fundraising initiative in the country. Participants can either raise money for the Push-Up Challenge foundation, or one of the local branches of either Lifeline or Headspace.
“Agworld sponsors a variety of charities and other rural health initiatives each year, and we recognise the importance of creating awareness around topics such as mental health,” says Agworld CEO Doug Fitch. “I thought it was great being part of the Old Bulls team myself as well; doing the varied amounts of push-ups everyday, and feeling the cumulative fatigue towards the end, gives you glimpse into that mental health struggles are a constant and those suffering don’t ‘get a day off, just variations of light and heavy days’. I’m very proud of the team and the funds we’ve raised together for Lifeline and Headspace - two very worthy causes in the mental health space. With over $12,000 raised and over 24,000 push-ups performed by our team, we raised $0.50 per push-up, which is a great result for the charities that are supported.”