Massive Murray Paddle
Inspired by his younger brother and work colleague, CEO of Murray Downs Golf and Country Club Greg Roberts is doing his part to put men's health into the spotlight. Mr Roberts is participating in this year’s Massive Murray Paddle raising money and awareness to locally support men's health, particularly bowel cancer, prostate cancer and mental health.
“Men are reluctant to visit the doctor or seek help and as a result it can often be too late once diagnosed,” he said.
The Massive Murray Paddle (formally Murray Marathon) is a 5-day paddling adventure and race of 404km on the Murray River. The event provides an opportunity for people to overcome challenges, form lifelong bonds and giving back to the community.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Massive Murray Paddle, over 550 paddlers and 800 crew members will make their way down the Murray River, from Yarrawonga to Swan Hill from 19 – 23 November. Participants are allowed to choose a community service or charity of their choice and Swan Hill's Mr Roberts is choosing to put men's health as his priority.
Mr Roberts' younger brother was diagnosed with liver cancer and bowel cancer at the age of 45. “He has progressed well through his treatment and is thankfully doing well now” Mr Roberts said. “I'm also doing this for my work colleague and friend, Dwayne.”
Mr Dwayne Grey is the assistant operations manager of the Murray Downs Golf and Country Club and was also diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 47.
“His treatment is also going well, but 18 months on and he is still not back at work full-time due to still suffering from the side effects of the chemotherapy,” Mr Roberts said. “These experiences have raised the matter that men, in general, are not doing enough to manage their own health.”
Mr Roberts is feeling excited and nervous to be competing in the Massive Murray paddle, but knows the money raised will benefit local men and that makes it worth it.
“This is a physical and mental test,” Mr Roberts said.
“Nine hour days just paddling is not necessarily fun, it’s challenging but it's rewarding.”
Mr Roberts has passed his target of $15,000, raising $19,000 already in the lead up to the annual event.
“This is the best effort of money raised leading into a paddle, last year it was $18,000 before the fundraiser took place, so I'm stoked,” he said. “Once the paddle is over it looks like we will have over $20,000 raised to go back into the community.”
The funds will go to Swan Hill District Health towards the Health Promotion department. “We can do a lot with that money. We are going to hold a number of events and run an awareness campaign focussing on men's health,” Mr Roberts said.
“The previous campaigns and events have been instrumental in saving at least four lives in our local community that we are aware of thus far, so with a continued program of education, we hope to help save more.”
“The Swan Hill Freemasons Lodge are great supporters of the fundraising. The local Freemasons have donated $2,000 to the cause and they then approached the Freemasons Foundation of Victoria who generously donated a further $4,000. This wonderful support from the Freemasons is greatly appreciated” said Mr Roberts.
The Murray Downs Golf and Country Club is also a major supporter having donated $5,000 to the cause and I am privileged to be the CEO of such a wonderful community club and its great facilities. People can still donate by clicking on the following link: