Murray Bridge father of two Luke McKenzie has been selected as the face of the 2016 Father’s Day WARRIOR Fun Run Medal in Sydney.
This is the second year of the fun run and it is a celebration of what it is to be a strong, protective, courageous and proud man, people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities can join in either a two, five or 10 kilometre run.
Mr McKenzie was selected as the face of the run because he displays the qualities of a true WARRIOR.
“I was a bit shocked that they asked me this year,” Mr McKenzie said.
“It’s an honour to be selected, last year it was Charlie Maher a graduate of the Indigenous Marathon Project, he’s done a lot of positive stuff in his community so it’s great to follow in his footsteps.”
Mr McKenzie is also a graduate of the Indigenous Marathon Project, he was part of the 2013 squad.
The project is a core program of the Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF) which uses running to drive change and celebrate resilience and achievement of Indigenous Australians.
“12 people are selected for the squad each year who are selected from a try out.”
Squad members train for the New York Marathon for six months at the same time as enhancing their education through a Certificate III in Fitness.
“They look for people that are positive role models in their community.”
Mr McKenzie said he got involved because he was always involved in sport from a young age but he got to the point where he had a number of injuries and became disinterested, he put on weight and became unhealthy and unhappy but when his first son Jaxon was born he wanted to turn his life around.
“Becoming a father made me realise I wanted to become a good role model to my kids. I wanted them to be able to look up to me and be proud of me, like I did to my Dad.”
Since then, he has been heavily involved with shaping the Deadly Fun Run series and has also completed the Boston Marathon earlier this year, he sees running as an important aspect of life.
“I just want to try and get people involved, running is free and easy to do and you get a great sense of camaraderie when you participate in running groups,” he said.