AFL star in epic trip

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Jakeb WaddellBroome Advertiser
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Black Dog Institute representatives Simon Rosenbaum and Karen Elliff with Adam Goodes and Yawuru elder Jimmy Edgar.
Camera IconBlack Dog Institute representatives Simon Rosenbaum and Karen Elliff with Adam Goodes and Yawuru elder Jimmy Edgar. Credit: Jakeb Waddell

He may have been both loved and loathed on the football field, but there’s no denying the contributions retired AFL legend Adam Goodes has made towards social issues, with his recent venture to Broome no exception.

Goodes was one of 65 riders who cycled into the Kimberley town from Perth on Saturday to raise money and awareness of the Black Dog Institute, a not-for-profit organisation that tackles mental illness.

The dual Brownlow medallist and premiership player said it was important for him to get involved with the “fantastic cause” because of the message behind it.

“The ride was all about how important it is to talk about mental illness and the role exercise plays in mental and physical health,” Goodes said.

“Us riders learned a lot about each other this week and shared emotional stories about why we were on this trip.

“It was such a big challenge and it would have been great to spend more time in the Kimberley spreading this message.”

“Thanks to everyone in WA that welcomed us into their communities and cheered us on in the middle of nowhere.”

Adam Goodes enjoying a kick with locals in Broome
Camera IconAdam Goodes enjoying a kick with locals in Broome Credit: Jakeb Waddell

The group, including 12 support vehicles, crew and volunteers, left Kings Park on Saturday, September 16 and travelled through WA, with cyclists riding more than 900km each in just eight days.

The riders passed through the likes of Coral Bay, Karratha and Port Hedland on their charitable journey, before their 2500km feat came came to an end on Saturday, raising more than $300,000 in the process.

Black Dog Institute honorary fellow Simon Rosenbaum, who also took part in the ride, said the cause was about more than just the money raised.

“I’m extremely proud of the efforts of all the cyclists,” he said.

“The experiences and stories shared about mental health is integral to what the Black Dog Institute is all about.

“I really hope this nails home the message that exercise is so vital when it comes to mental illness.”

While Goodes is passionate about a number of issues, with recent campaigns including marriage equality and the Indigenous educational gap, his interest in the AFL has appears to have dwindled, laughing while admitting he “couldn’t care any less” who wins Saturday’s grand final.

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