RUN Ballarat has reached its finish line. CottonOn Group has ended the city’s biggest fun run and walk after six years, having achieved its aim for a new children’s ward in Ballarat.
The event has raised more than $1 million to support redevelopment of the children’s ward in Ballarat Health Services Base Hospital.
BHS took possession of the ward from builders on Friday.
More than 29,000 have run this city since the inaugural Run Ballarat in 2012.
The city’s only other mass participation event on this scale is the Reach4Research Cycle Classic, which has included a run the past two years, for Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute.
CottonOn Group community projects manager Sam McGuane said the group was proud to have delivered on what it had promised – funds for half of the $3.5 million redevelopment – and would not deliver a Run in 2018.
”This milestone brings to life the work of Run Ballarat which is to make a positive difference in people’s lives with a specific focus on kid’s health,” Mr McGuane said.
“We have loved the opportunity to work the local community...We’re proud that together, Cotton On Group and the Ballarat community has been able to help provide the best quality treatment and care to ill children and their families through the Run Ballarat initiative.”
Ballarat Health Services chief Dale Fraser said the hospital would be open to working with another organisation for a similar mass participation event. Mr Fraser said events, like Run Ballarat, were a great way to promote and celebrate an active lifestyle while supporting BHS healthcare.
“We cannot thank Cotton On enough for their generous support,” Mr Fraser said. “The many thousands of people who participated in Run Ballarat and our community sponsors and donors have made it possible to have a truly state of the art children’s ward available for our region.”
BHS is starting to fit out the new children’s ward with a relocation scheduled for mid next month.
The new-look ward has been designed to best meet the modern healthcare needs of young patients, their families and staff who care for them.
Greater space will also allow for future plans, including the potential for a high-observation area for the sickest patients and short stay so take children out of the emergency department.
Run Ballarat featured 12 and six-kilometre events, later expanding to a three-kilometre run and a one-kilometre children’s run.
A village precinct created a festival atmosphere, including a live music stage and children’s activities.