With a goal to raise much needed funds for mental health services, Airmaster Western Australia Branch Manager Matt Wisniewski and Refrigeration Technician Lee Bronkhorst have participated in the annual “Push for Better Challenge” to commemorate the lives lost to suicide in 2020.
The duo took to Kings Park on Friday June 25 and completed a staggering 3318 push-ups in just under 3.5 hours. Starting at dawn, Matt and Lee worked hard as the sun rose, raising $500 for Lifeline and much needed awareness for suicide prevention.
Every day, at least six Australians die from suicide and a further 30 people will attempt to take their own life. Statistics show 1 in 5 people will suffer from a mental health issue in 12 months and almost half (45%) Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
For Lee Bronkhorst the decision to partake in the challenge alongside Matt was extremely personal, as like the statistic, he had been deeply touched by the implications of mental health.
“In 2013, I was part of the New Zealand Judo team, touring around the world trying to secure selection for Commonwealth Games, then later Olympic Games. Unfortunately, due to the lack of funding and immense pressure on us, it did affect our mental health. It was during this time I had 3 team-mates add to the suicide statistics,” said Lee.
“The team-mate I dedicated this challenge to was not only such a great human being, but he was a role model not only to me but to many people in and out of the Judo community. He is greatly missed.”
Whilst the challenge allows participators a 25-day window to complete the 3318 push-ups, Lee and Matt had ambitions to finish the task in the space of a single morning in Perth’s CBD.
Donning his Judo team colours as a mark of respect, Lee’s efforts on the day were driven by his close loss, and personal battle with mental health. Upon completion of the challenge, he described the process as “emotional, but ever-so inspiring.”
“We wanted people suffering from mental health to know that we are willing to dig deep and push for better for them. So, for myself and Matt Wisniewski to each achieve the 3318 push-ups in less than 3.5hours and raise money was an amazing result.”
With the implications caused throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health has been in the spotlight. The disruptions of everyday life have caused waves of anxiety and depression felt throughout the globe, heightening the importance for donations and the raising of awareness.
Since completing the challenge, Matt and Lee have raised $500 for Lifeline and wish to thank everyone who has generously donated.
If you would like to help Airmaster raise funds for mental health you can donate at the link below.