October is Mental Health month in Australia, and we're partnering with Pushing Barriers, a Brisbane-based organisation that helps refugee youth access sport. By doing so, they're enabling disadvantaged kids to be involved in their local communities, to be active and healthy, and to meet positive role models. All of which helps to support a healthy mind, positive inner-talk and belief through the inclusion and acceptance of community sport.
We sat down with Mary Chol, an inspirational teenager and athlete who fled war-torn South Sudan to come to Australia. She is grateful for the support Pushing Barriers has given her and shares the story of how it has changed her life.
“Pushing Barriers is a not-for-profit organisation that aims at helping disadvantaged background kids access sport. They basically help kids from refugee backgrounds who have barriers getting involved with sport.”
“For example for me, they help me with finance by paying for my fees for my basketball club, and driving me to the games and training because my family could not afford it.”
"Pushing Barriers has meant a lot to me. I've made such great friends and developed my social skills and been able to improve my English. Even when they just picked me up for practice, we would interact and talk to each other in the car and that really helped.”
"I also attended some of their events and they had over 80 students that they were helping. Just seeing those kids interacting with each other, and be laughing and smiling... it was so positive to see.”
“These kids were from Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq etc, and seeing them interacting and improving their English skills, their social skills and getting involved in the wider community in Australia and not just being in their own zone, it was really great to see. Pushing Barriers are helping us to integrate into the Australian culture.”
“Brands like IMPI can get involved through sponsorships and donations to Pushing Barriers. Not only do they help these kids with fees and driving them to sport, but some kids don’t even have anything to eat at home. They would package up food and deliver it to these families, so anything really helps.”
Supporting Teens Through Sport
We know that healthy life habits such as moving every day are so important for our mental health. Challenges can arise from many different aspects of life including family situations, pressure from school and competing in sport, which is why we have been incredibly proud to partner with Pushing Barriers.
Through our 1km a Day Challenge, we put the call out for everyone to get moving and help us raise money for Pushing Barriers. We pledged $1 for every 1km run and we are incredibly proud to announce that thanks to the dedication and support of over 100 participants, we have been able to raise $1,228 for Pushing Barriers!
Thank you to everyone who participated in the challenge, who took the time to check in with a friend, who made the effort to move even if they weren't motivated, who did their part for teen mental health. We couldn't be prouder of our IMPI Warrior community #wearestrongertogether.
Learn more about the incredible work Pushing Barriers do: