Bundaberg’s Rylann Hoopert is a youngster on a mission to spread the message that kindness is cool, and bullying is not on.
The eight-year-old is lacing up his runners to take part in Life Education Queensland’s new fund-raising challenge – the Healthy Harold Hundred to help stamp out bullying.
The event, open to Queenslanders of all ages, challenges participants to walk, run or ride 100 kilometres in 20 days, from 5 to 24 May, to raise important funds for Life Education Queensland’s work in schools including the charity’s respectful relationships programs.
Rylann is one of more than 1000 Queenslanders who have already signed up for the challenge and he’s excited to be making a difference.
“One thing I do not like is people bullying,” Rylann said.
“I want people to always be thinking about kindness and being kind towards others.
“I’m hoping that by participating in this event, it will just show people how much I really care about putting an end to all types of bullying.”
Rylann, a Grade 3 at Kalkie State School, plans to clock his 100 kilometres by running every afternoon after school, taking walks and scooter rides with his family, and even running during his school lunch breaks.
He has already topped his fund-raising goal, and mum Sky said he was aiming to go even higher during the Healthy Harold Hundred challenge.
“Everyone is just so proud of him, and very supportive,” Sky said.
“I’ve spoken to Rylann a lot about how things were when I was a child going to school, and how so many of my friends and family members experienced some type of bullying.
“I’m really proud of him and support that he wants to help make a change for his generation and for everyone that he’s going to school with.”
Life Education Queensland CEO Michael Fawsitt praised Rylann’s efforts, saying the response to the Healthy Harold Hundred campaign had been amazing.
“It’s terrific to see Rylann’s commitment and passion to the cause and his desire to promote kindness,” Mr Fawsitt said.
“We’re urging Queenslanders to get behind the Healthy Harold Hundred campaign to help stamp out bullying and violence in our community.
“At Life Education, we’re working with schools to help educate and empower our next generation of young people to build and maintain positive healthy and respectful relationships.
“The challenge is a great way for parents and their children to get physically active and make a difference in the lives of Queensland children.”
For motivated young Rylann, the start of the Healthy Harold Hundred cannot come soon enough.
“I really want to be a good role model,” he said.
“It’s great to know that Healthy Harold and Life Education can visit more schools thanks to the fund-raising, and I think it would be great if other people sign up to take part in the Healthy Harold Hundred too.”
Registration for Life Education Queensland’s Healthy Harold Hundred event is free.
To find out more about the cause go to www.healthyharoldhundred.org.au.