Off and running, or walking, for Timor

Trek for Timor hits Morton National Park to raise funds for life-changing programs

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OPEN TO ALL AGES: Participants in Trek for Timor raise funds for projects ranging from installing solar lighting in remote areas to providing a place for students to live.

OPEN TO ALL AGES: Participants in Trek for Timor raise funds for projects ranging from installing solar lighting in remote areas to providing a place for students to live.

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Three different route lengths mean trek is suitable for all fitness levels.

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They will be walking. They will be running. They will be helping.

Whatever it is, they will all be at Morton National Park in Kangaroo Valley - on the NSW South Coast - next month to raise funds for life-changing programs in Timor Leste.

The biennial Trek for Timor will be held on September 14, with participants walking or running 50km, 36km or 14km through the park. Others will be volunteers, staffing checkpoints, registering teams, being a marshal, taking photos or prepping food for hungry trekkers.

The event is organised by the Kangaroo Valley Remexio Partnership, a small community group south of Sydney.

"The Trek for Timor is such a great community-building event, we always have the most amazing people join us on the day!," said Lynne Keevers, one of the organisers.

"The three different route lengths mean that the trek is suitable for people of all fitness levels - from ultra-marathon and trail runners right through to families with young children."

Participants are encouraged to register in a team of between two and six for the trek and ask family and friends to sponsor them.

"Over the last few treks we've raised about $300,000, which has allowed us to complete the Remexio Solar Lighting Project, providing light to 1500 homes in remote rural areas," Lynne said.

"We also purchased and renovated a student house in Dili to support young students wishing to gain a tertiary education.

"The last Trek for Timor allowed us to purchase a second student house in Dili, and this year we hope to raise enough money to renovate it to accommodate eight to 10 young Timorese people while they complete their tertiary education."

Proving that age is no barrier, Chris Gorman, 80, from the Blue Mountains, completed the last trek and hopes to do so again this year.

"I've always lived an active lifestyle, as I believe that we'll last longer if our body is not allowed to rust away!" Chris said.

"Committing to do the Trek for Timor last year gave me extra motivation to find time to train each day, knowing that I'd be one of the oldest, if not the oldest, participants on the track.

"Completing the 50km trek through beautiful Kangaroo Valley and raising money for such an important cause made me very proud, and the bond I formed with my fellow trekkers is without parallel."

To find out more, register or donate to a team, head to kvrp.net.au

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