HUNKY Aussie actor and all-round nice guy, Hugh Jackman, has helped launch a new initiative to empower young Indigenous people.
Working his magic as Qantas Ambassador, the Wolverine star (pictured centre) confirmed the airline will donate $1.4 million dollars from the Qantas Foundation to the Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF).
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The IMF was founded by world champion marathon runner Robert De Castella (pictured fourth from right) and selects a squad of 18-30 year old Indigenous men and women from around Australia, with little or no running experience, and trains them for the New York Marathon.
Those who cross the finish line are known as Frontrunners.
“I’ve been so impressed by the inspirational work that Rob does and the brilliant young runners he’s mentoring through IMF,” Jackman said.
“I’m a passionate believer that if you give young people the opportunity and the tools to make a difference, there’s no limit to what they can achieve.
“The finish line in New York is really just the starting point for these young leaders and I can’t wait to see what they do next.”
De Castella welcomed the Qantas investment, saying it will help kick start the graduates’ journey to lead change in their communities.
“When the runners cross the finish line of the biggest marathon in the world they know they can achieve anything,” he said.
“They become role models within their communities and are leaders in the promotion of health and physical exercise to help alleviate the high instance of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.”.
The 2015 Indigenous Marathon Foundation squad of ten young Indigenous Australians will fly to New York tomorrow to run in this year’s marathon.