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ePublication of Australian Fitness Network

By setting the goal of competing in a fun nationwide running event, you can help clients get fit and battle breast cancer this Mother’s Day, writes Sharon Morris.

There’s nothing like signing up to participate in a fitness event to motivate clients to stick to their training. Add a good cause to the mix and you have the recipe for a feel-good training incentive. Which is why more and more personal trainers and fitness facility operators across Australia are coming to regard the Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic fun run as a great motivator for their clients and members.

The event offers many people, in particular female first time runners, the chance to set their fitness goals and participate in a non-competitive, inspiring and fun way, which also helps raise funds for breast cancer research. In 2014, the Mother’s Day Classic involved more than 130,000 Australians in around 100 locations, giving it national reach.

This year the event will be held on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 10, offering trainers a great opportunity to help clients set running goals, be motivated to train and then participate together in a fun and inspiring event.

As well as events in every capital city, Mother’s Day Classic takes place in many locations, from large major metropolitan events in Wollongong, Bendigo and Ballarat to small towns such as Tannum Sands (QLD) and Broome (WA).

If there is no event near you, gyms and personal trainers are invited to consider starting a local event with guidance from the Mother’s Day Classic team. To check out the nearest event to you and your clients – and for information on starting an event in your town – click here.

Mother’s Day Classic is a key driver in Australia to get women into running. Participant feedback has revealed that, more than any other event, Mother’s Day Classic motivates women to move along the exercise chain from walking, to a casual fun run, to running as a hobby and for fitness.

Participants tell us they value the option to walk or run different distances (usually 4km and 8km distances in both walking and running are offered). The very achievable length of the event makes it a good introduction to running events. These are great race lengths for those starting out, with enough categories and variety for those wanting to push themselves for personal bests.

In 2014, almost 500 gym or personal training group teams, involving thousands of participants, took part in the event. It’s clear that the focus on fun, community and family fitness and wellbeing resonates with many in the fitness industry. The team at Mother’s Day Classic love the involvement of fitness professionals and encourage you to consider participating with your clients.

Each major Mother’s Day Classic event has a trophy for the largest gym/personal fitness/ wellbeing team – offering a great chance to profile your business on the day and in the post-event national communications. Could this be you in 2014?

Participants raise funds for breast cancer research, and over the years more than $24.3 million has been raised, making the Mother’s Day Classic the largest funder of the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian women (1 per cent of breast cancer is in men). On average 42 Australian women are diagnosed with breast cancer each day.  Since the event began, five year survival rates for women diagnosed with breast cancer have increased to 89 per cent. But there is still more to do: approximately seven Australian women die from this disease every day.

“Each major Mother’s Day Classic event has a trophy for the largest gym/personal fitness/ wellbeing team… Could this be you in 2014?” 

For health and fitness professionals, the link between fitness and both prevention of, and recovery from, breast cancer is noteworthy.

For women already dealing with breast cancer, research funded by the National Breast Cancer Foundation has indicated that physical activity plays a big role in recovery from breast cancer and has the potential to affect a woman’s quality of life.

In terms of prevention, results from the National Runners’ and Walkers’ Health Studies in America have found regular exercise potentially lowers the risk of all women dying from breast cancer by more than 40 per cent. Researcher Paul Williams, at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, followed 79,124 women over 11 years to investigate breast cancer mortality.

Women who met the regular weekly exercise recommendations of at least 11.3km of brisk walking or 7.6km of running were at 41.5 per cent lower risk of breast cancer mortality, compared to those who did not meet the recommendations.

So why not get your joggers ready, put together a fitness team and help make breast cancer history by registering and fundraising at! Team registrations for fitness professionals and their clients or members are open now.

Sharon Morris is CEO of the Mother’s Day Classic.

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