Coleman Greig Challenge is on this Friday in Parramatta Park

On your marks: The Coleman Greig Challenge is one of the most anticipated events of the calendar for the Parramatta and Hills business community. Organisers hope for fine weather and to raise $175,000 this year.
On your marks: The Coleman Greig Challenge is one of the most anticipated events of the calendar for the Parramatta and Hills business community. Organisers hope for fine weather and to raise $175,000 this year.

It all begun in 2013 with 103 participants.

On Friday, more than 400 runners, walkers and cyclists will line up for the annual Coleman Greig Challenge in Parramatta Park.

Participants will tackle a 2.5 kilometre walk, a five or 10 kilometre run or a 10 kilometre bike ride, individually or as a team.

Proceeds will go towards educational technology for The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, Panda warmers to save premature babies’ lives for My Westmead, and funding new sensory gardens, equipment and spaces to foster social skills at St Gabriel’s School for Children with Special Needs in Castle Hill.

The event is the brainchild of Coleman Greig Lawyers principal Andrew Grima.

“We used to hold charity golf days to support St Gabriel’s but weren’t getting the numbers we used to,” he said. “I was 37 at the time, had a young child and had just gotten into running because I was unfit. The rest is history. It’s since become a massive event with a lot of work and people involved.”

The Coleman Greig Challenge has raised more than $350,000 for its charities to date. Around 100 volunteer marshals will join the 400 entrants on the day.

“This is the fifth year with 500 people involved and hope to break the $500,000 mark,” Mr Grima said.

Hills residents, Olympic hurdler Michelle Jenneke, and two-time world champion hurdler Jana Pittman are the event ambassadors, along with Australian blind cricketer Matt Cameron.

“There is no other sporting event like this in Parramatta that brings businesses and organisations together,” Mr Grima said.

“It provides support to the community and promotes healthy lifestyles. We encourage everyone to get behind it as it gets bigger each year.”

My Westmead and The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children became charity partners in recent years.

“The Coleman Greig Challenge has become a part of our culture – the younger employees even like to challenge me on the running route,”  RIDBC chief executive Chris Rehn said.

“It unites everyone in our organisation and helps ensure we can continue to provide high-quality care.”

Details: colemangreigchallenge2017.gofundraise.com.au.