WONDER WOMAN: Former cricketer Kara Sutherland is encouraging everyone to get out for the Anytime Fitness 24hr treadmill challenge after the success of last year.
WONDER WOMAN: Former cricketer Kara Sutherland is encouraging everyone to get out for the Anytime Fitness 24hr treadmill challenge after the success of last year. Caitlan Charles

Sweat it out to help others fight demons

CRICKET: Former professional cricketer and Clarence Valley junior Kara Sutherland is encouraging everyone to get out of the house and on to the treadmill today as Anytime Fitness Grafton aims to raise funds and awareness for suicide prevention.

Sutherland has been a proud supporter of the Plebs, Pros and Personalities for Suicide Prevention Australia 24hr treadmill challenge for the past five years and with Anytime Fitness taking it on this year she was happy to help out.

Sutherland is the Grafton ambassador for the Tread Together 24hr Challenge which will kick off in the South Grafton gym at 3pm today.

While Sutherland won't be able to be at the gym in person over the 24hr challenge, she is encouraging as many people to get involved as possible.

"I brought the PPP4SPA challenge to Grafton last year and it was a great chance to get people out and help raise awareness for suicide prevention,” Sutherland said.

"It is something that affects us all but it still seems to be such a taboo subject, and that should not be how it is.

"My best friend lost her dad to suicide five years ago, and it is something that definitely affected me at the time. Onl;y a few months later I saw the PPP4SPA initiative on social media and decided I needed to be a part of it, I haven't stopped ever since.”

Sutherland will have a bit of extra time this year to devote to the cause after she shockingly pulled up stumps on her professional cricketing career in February.

Sutherland had played for the past nine seasons including a stint in England and a contract with Brisbane Heat over the past two seasons.

While it has not quite lessened her load just yet with an international holiday and work keeping her busy, Sutherland said it felt like the right time to make the decision.

"I actually ran into (Heat star) Beth Mooney in the gym the other day and she asked me if I was missing pre-season training already,” she said.

"I had to honestly tell her I wasn't missing it at all, and I think that's when I realised I had made the right decision.

"I have gotten to see some amazing places and meet even more amazing people all because of cricket. I got everything I wanted and more out of the game, and now it is my chance to give back.”

Many local businesses have come on board to sponsor a treadmill during the Challenge tonight, with every extra kilometre counting dearly.

"But it's not just about the money,” she said. "It's a chance to start a conversation.”



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