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SmartBar Walk for a Veteran 2021

By Cess Glasspool

On Friday 7th May I was offered the opportunity to represent Trojan’s Trek at the launch of the SmartBar Walk for a Veteran with PTSD.  This annual walk began in 2016 and Walk for a Veteran became a recognised charity in 2020.

Chad McLaren is the driving force behind this event and is a defence force veteran. He told me he spent 5 years in the Army as an infantry soldier with one East Timor deployment in 2000 and 10 years in the Navy as a medic, discharging from the ADF in 2013. He recognised that some of his defence force friends were struggling with mental health issues and he felt that he was able to support them by creating an event like this.

In 2016 Chad joined with two of his defence force buddies for the inaugural Walk for a Veteran which raised funds for Operation K9.  2021 is the 6th running of the event in SA and there are plans to host a similar event in WA and a 24 hr endurance event in SA in 2022.

Chad is passionate about supporting Veterans and first responders and each year, he nominates four organisations as beneficiaries of the funds raised by the walk. This year, Trojan’s Trek has been nominated as one of those beneficiaries.

One of the principal sponsors for this year’s SmartBar Walk for a Veteran is Spinifex Brewing Co. Spinifex Brewing Co. is a dynamic new player in the craft beer industry.  SA Sales Representative for Spinifex Brewing Co, Sean Batson proudly states that Spinifex is an Aboriginal and Veteran-owned WA brewery company that produces beers flavoured with native botanicals unique to Australia.

CEO Adam Barnard is an army veteran who states, “Our business was founded in part to support Veterans and we are proud to be able to join forces with Walk for a Veteran Inc. as our South Australian partner to ensure this event raises much-needed awareness and funds”.

Spinifex established the F88 range of beers; sourcing the name from the Australian Army-issued rifle. Spinifex is a world-first initiative aimed at raising funds to support our returned servicemen and women. The F88 Campaign is dedicated to the memory of SIG Geoffrey GREGG (Afghanistan) who took his life on 23 September 2006 because of severe PTSD and is the inspiration behind the campaign.

SPINIFEX will operate its full mobile bar facility with the full range of beers available. 50% of the profit from SPINIFEX F88 Premium Lager sales at the event will be donated to charity.

I participated in the event last year and I have registered for the 2021 event which is being held on 28 August. This year looks like being bigger and better with no public roads or traffic to contend with.

A 10km loop has been created totally on the trails of the reserve, of which 1/3 will be on the renowned Heysen Trail. The course will rise to 450m above sea level and provide some incredible views over the valleys below. Individuals will have the option of completing one, two, three, or four laps of the course.

Teams can complete the 40km as a team of 2 or 4 each completing one or two 10km laps. The start and finish of each lap will be from the same location, which will be the venue for the post-event activities.

Secure camping sites will be available on Friday and Saturday night, with off-road parking provided. St John Ambulance will be located across the 10km course.

The event will see the introduction of the first “after walk” concert starting at 2pm. Headlining the concert are Pierce Brothers (VIC) and Hollow Coves (QLD), joined by folk legend Carus Thompson and band (VIC/WA), ex-Army Officer and singer/songwriter Pat Kenny (QLD), Lucinda Grace from the Adelaide Hills, and Yorke Heath (SA). Yorke Heath and Mark Aiston will be our Masters of Ceremonies.

The event presents a fantastic opportunity for trekkers and their families to get involved and enjoy some Adelaide Hills atmosphere, fine food, and refreshments.

Huge thanks to Chad and his fantastic sponsors.

Further information can be obtained at http://www.walkforaveteran.org.au/

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