SOCCER might be the world game, but David MacPhail says running is a universally understood way across cultures for everyone to find a way to get moving and make a difference.
Mr MacPhail, his daughter Sophie and dog Lassie will be on course in Run For A Cause half-marathon to represent the Ballarat arm of Rural Australians for Refugees.
He said whatever the community event's cause in focus, it impacted the region's refugee families.
All of those causes (in Run For a Cause) are relevant to refugees - and more soDavid MacPhail
Team MacPhail runs to raise awareness for RAR's efforts to support refugees in regional communities across the nation, including Ballarat. A lot of this voluntary support work relies on frontline charity programs, like those in spotlight for Run For A Cause.
This year's event is focused on support for early childhood development programs across the region, in a bid to ensure all children can be school-ready. This follows the inaugural event, which raised almost $32,000 to tackle hunger.
Running is a method Mr MacPhail uses channel his efforts in helping to raise awareness for the cause he is passionate about.
He and Sophie run with other RAR volunteers in the Melbourne Marathon Festival. For them, Ballarat was the next step.
"We belong to this community here and it's our top priority," Mr MacPhail said.
"All of those causes (in Run For A Cause) are relevant to refugees - and more so."
CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW to read about David MacPhail's marathon efforts
Ballarat Community Health, a charity partner for the event, is one organisation that works closely with Ballarat RAR in seeking help for refugees looking for a job or finding accommodation. Sometimes this involves volunteers offering temporary accommodation in their own homes.
Mr MacPhail said this was often about trying to fill a gap for organisations limited in resources. RAR also fundraises and lobbies for refugee support programs.
Crossing the finish line in a running event - whether you walk, jog or run - has a sense of equality for Mr MacPhail. No matter the distance.
He and Sophie tend to look to running as a solitary activity, sometimes taking Lassie, as a time to reflect and recharge. But getting out on course together, moving alongside others, was different.
The event on the day is just a run but crossing the line's about the hours and preparation you put into it.David MacPhail
"The event on the day is just a run but crossing the line's about the hours and preparation you put into it - it feels so good," Mr MacPhail said.
"The atmosphere at these events is wonderful. There are so many people, families and kids. Everybody is so pumped up on endorphins."
Run For a Cause is on Sunday, November 17.
Details to help you run this city
COUNTDOWN is on with one week to race day. There is still time to ensure you are ready to run, walk or roll for the second annual Run for a Cause.
WHEN: Sunday, November 17.
WHERE: Community Village and start/finish precinct in Victoria Park. Courses path takes in Victoria Park and Lake Wendouree.
EVENTS: RUN - 8am start, Half-marathon (21.1 kilometres); 8.15am, 10km; 9am, 5km; 10.15am, 1km (children's dash). WALK - 9am, 5km family event, pets included.
CAUSE: Early childhood development programs: Ballarat Reads, Ballarat Community Health's paediatric programs, Eureka Mums, Eureka Community Kindergarten Association, Uniting Ballarat, Ballarat Toy Library and Playgroup Victoria's Sebastopol Hub.
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