Charity runner puts spotlight on Woopi
OVERCAST skies weren't enough to deter Palwinder Rai on Wednesday morning when he set off on his 360km run to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
In a bid to raise vital funds for the Cancer Council as well as represent the Sikh community on a national scale, Mr Rai was farewelled by Coffs Harbour councillors including Mayor Denise Knight as he officially began the nine day run from the chamber.
"I just want to make a contribution from my community to this country,” Mr Rai said.
"I'm planning to cover 42km per day and I'll probably finish in around nine days.”
The Indian-Australian long distance runner, who has taken part in numerous cross countries and half marathons, said he had chosen to leave from Coffs Harbour in particular as it's home to one of the first and biggest Sikh communities in Australia.
The Sikh community have been living in Woolgoolga since the 1880s.
Councillors as well as the Woolgoolga Sikh community, Woolgoolga Rotary Club and Brisbane Sikh community have thrown their support behind the runner.
"We've got him covered in terms of support, housing and food all the way from Coffs to the Commonwealth Games,” Cr John Arkan said.
"What it's really about, though, is having that community support for someone who is simply doing something wonderful regardless of their ethnicity or religion.”