Each year a group of 12 Indigenous Australians (six men and six women) are selected to train for the New York City Marathon with just six months of training.
Education is a compulsory part of the IMP program and all squad members are required to complete:
- a Certificate IV in Sport and Recreation
- a Level 1 Recreational Running Coach Accreditation through Athletics Australia
- CPR and first-aid qualifications
- Media training
Using their skills, knowledge and qualifications, these Indigenous Australians become healthy lifestyle leaders and return to their communities as agents of change, inspiring and encouraging people in their communities to adopt active and healthy lifestyles.
The project uses running to change lives and provide a sense of empowerment, purpose and pride.
Members of the squad push their physical and mental boundaries to a new level. After crossing the finish line of the world’s biggest marathon, they become IMP Graduates and are empowered with a renewed sense of self-belief and realise they can achieve anything.
Runners become role models within their communities. Many establish Deadly Fun Runs (a program of IMF’s Deadly Running Australia initiative) and are leaders in the promotion of health and physical exercise to address the high instance of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and renal failure.
The IMP covers all costs for members of the squad throughout the IMP year including travel to and from camps, accommodation, education costs, equipment, uniform etc (excludes any personal spending money during camps).