Daylesford trekker raising funds to restore sight

Daylesford’s Tara Surridge will join 2000 fellow trekkers for the fourth annual Wild Women On Top Melbourne Coastrek next Friday.

READY: Daylesford's Tara Surridge will participate in the trek. Photo: Dylan Burns

READY: Daylesford's Tara Surridge will participate in the trek. Photo: Dylan Burns

The trek raises funds for The Fred Hollows Foundation’s work to restore sight to some of the world’s poorest people. 

Trekkers take on the challenge in teams of four, with a requirement being that at least two team members are women. 

Ms Surridge will complete the 60 kilometre trek along the Mornington Peninsula with her cousin, aunt and her friend. It is her first time participating, but she said she had hiked most of her life. 

She said the region was the perfect place to practice as it is such a beautiful and diverse place to walk. She has recently completed the Lost Children’s Walk towards Coomoora and near Tipperary Springs.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Wild Women on Top Coastrek, Di Westaway, said the trek was a way for women to come together for their own health and wellbeing, while also changing the lives of others.

“Coastrek motivates women to prioritise their own health while helping others. They regain their confidence through fun fitness with friends and their wanderlust experience makes them feel awesome.”

Ms Surridge agreed.

“I’ve used the trek as a challenge to become healthier, physically and mentally. I’ve stopped using my car and am walking everywhere,” she said. “Walking is a wonderful way to open your mind to the world.”

The foundation is aiming to raise $1.8 million at the Melbourne trek for its 10th anniversary year. Over the past decade, more than 25,000 trekkers have walked 1.2 million kilometres at the Melbourne, Sydney and Sunshine Coast treks, raising more than $22 million.

Founding director of the Fred Hollows Foundation, Gabi Hollows, said it was inspiring.

“There are more than 36 million people in the world who are blind, and four out of five of them don’t need to be,” she said.

“I am always moved and inspired to see people still going to such great lengths to continue Fred’s legacy of a world where no person is needlessly blind.”

Each team must raise $2000. Go to melbourne.coastrek.com.au and search for Tara Surridge to donate.