In July of 2019, three mates from Brisbane will be embarking on a journey of gargantuan proportion. Regularly described as the greatest motoring adventure in the world, the contingent of Australian lads - Jake Shumilin, Jayden Wright and Trent Thompson - will be taking part in The Mongol Rally, a charity event like no other that will see them driving half way around the world for a bloody great cause.
Inspired in both name and in nature by one of Australia's most iconic adventure and survival experts, Russell Coight, the All Aussie Adventurers will be setting off from London in the UK with the aim of reaching Ulan-Ude in Russia in one piece. Their route will take them through the bustling cities of Europe, the vast deserts of the Middle East and the mountains and steppes of Asia and will cover over 20,000kms of unfamiliar and unforgiving terrain.
Sounds like fun, right? You would be correct in thinking so, save for a couple of simple yet fundamental rules that the team over at The Adventurists have imposed to make things very, very interesting...
1. The vehicle of choice has to be small and, for lack of better words, shit. Only cars with an engine size of 1000cc or less are allowed (for comparisons sake, a ride on lawn mower is just over 500cc). This might be fine for your casual Sunday drive down to Woolies, not so much for a round the world endurance rally.
2. There’s no set route, no backup and no support. There’s an official start and finish line, but what happens in between is anybody's guess. Let’s be honest though, if there’s no danger involved or the potential for things to go wrong, can you really call it an adventure?
Now, with this in mind, your next question may be ‘but what’s the point of all this?’. The answer is simple - as part of their 2019 rally campaign, the All Aussie Adventurers will be raising much needed awareness and providing support for two incredible non-profit organisations, Gotcha4Life and Cool Earth.
Gotcha4Life aims at raising awareness and taking action to create social change and improve the mental health of males across Australia. According to the Bureau of Statistics, the number of suicides in Australia in 2017 was 3,123 and was the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44. Of these lives lost, 2,348 were men. It is incredibly concerning, especially since a staggering 72% of males don’t seek help for mental health disorders. From the Gotcha4Life Project that encourages males of all ages and outlooks to connect with their own Gotcha4Life Mate, to supporting and driving a range of mental health programs that help community-based organisations nationwide, Gotcha4Life is all about taking action with the fundamental goal of saving the lives of Australian men. You can find out more about the work that Gotcha4Life do here: http://www.gotcha4life.org
Cool Earth works alongside rainforest communities to halt deforestation and it’s impact on climate change. In the last 40 years, roughly half of the worlds rainforests have been destroyed and with deforestation accounting for almost 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, it isn’t overstating things to say that climate change cannot be defeated without enlisting the help of the natural world. Through it’s approach of partnering with local communities, Cool Earth aims at eradicating deforestation whilst improving the livelihoods of the 1.6 billion people who rely upon these rainforests for food, clothing, medicine, water and shelter. To date, Cool Earth has saved 901,679 acres of the world’s most at-risk rainforests, locked in 234,4366,540 tonnes of CO2 by keeping trees standing and empowered 118 local villages by putting them back in control of the forests and their futures. You can find out more about the work that Cool Earth do here: http://www.coolearth.org
So, if you like what you see and want to support the cause, here is the place to do it. Any donation big or small will help the guys on their way to their initial goal of $2,500 with 100% of the funds going directly to the charities above. If you can’t afford to donate, just go like the facebook page and spread the word to your family and friends. The more people getting behind the team and the cause the better - they’re going to need all the support they can get.
That’s all for now folks, see you on the road!