Karl fundraises with running challenge

26 Feb, 2021

From a first spark of interest, Karl Rowlands has created a running challenge that will bring hope and welcome to people seeking asylum.

Karl first learned about the challenges facing people seeking asylum when he heard Nicky Wynne speak about her experience working in a detention center. Her story stuck with him.

Originally from North Wales, Karl has lived in Australia for ten years. He is a husband, father, master recruiter, repeat marathon runner – and now – fundraiser!

Karl signed up for four different marathons in 2020 but, like most large events, they were all cancelled. Looking to find an alternative and recover from a soccer injury, Karl decided to create his own opportunity and give back at the same time.

This March, Karl will be running the beautiful coastal path from Otford station through the Royal National Park – passing wedding cake rock, the figure of 8 pools, Garie beach – all the way to the Bundeena ferry terminal to support people seeking asylum. He has walked parts of the path before, but this will be a very different marathon experience than he is used to.

“In a city marathon there is loads of encouragement that you receive from the crowds and marshals, water stations, energy gel stations literally every 5 kilometres. This run will be different. I will be carrying my supplies.,” says Karl.

Karl is sharing his training with his network as a way to share information about the Asylum Seekers Centre and is already one third of his way to his fundraising goal.

“It’ll be a lovely run – it’s a beautiful part of the world but – more importantly – I’m hoping that by doing the run that I’ll have a good reason to post content to raise awareness of the cause at that same time,” he says.

“I think, once you are fully aware of how desperate the situation is then it’s almost impossible to walk away from it…I always try to explain the situation to close friends and family.”

Karl is also working with the ASC Employment Team to find ways he can support people seeking asylum to find work and connect them with employment.

Thank you, Karl, for sharing your time, energy and expertise to support people seeking asylum in many different ways. We are cheering for you as you complete your coastal run in March! You can help Karl reach his goal by donating to his page.