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This International Women’s Day, the spotlight is on IMP Graduate #65, Jacinta ‘Cinta’ Smith-Robins, who has been announced as the 2024 IMF International Women’s Day (IWD) Warrior.

Hailing from Bourke in northwest NSW, the Wangkumara woman graduated through the Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) in 2016 after completing the New York City Marathon, earning the title of IMP Graduate #65.

On applying for the Indigenous Marathon Project Cinta shared, “I wanted to show my community it’s okay to have a dream and I felt I owed it to my family and community to be a role model and improve the self-esteem of my community.”

With two marathons under her belt and a powerful ripple effect and influence, Cinta embodies the very nature that she believes are the qualities of a WARRIOR woman; humble, strong, and driven, with the ability to make time for yourself.

This week, IMF running and walking (RAW) groups around Australia will hold special IWD WARRIOR RAW events to celebrate and acknowledge Cinta, and all the other powerful women in our lives and communities.

“It was really touching to be recognised in this way, especially because the last few years of my life have solely been devoted to being a Mum,” shares Cinta.

As a mother, Jacinta emphasises the significance of making time for oneself. She believes that it is imperative for women to prioritise their own well-being and pursue their passions and shares, “As women especially as mothers, we take on a lot. Prioritising yourself is not selfish or something to feel guilty about, it is a fundamental act.”

“My marathon training last year was a bit all over the place,” shares Cinta. “I didn’t have a lot of people to help me with the kids so I just got out the door whenever I could. Sometimes getting out the door can be a break and a reward. It was really empowering to do something for myself and be recognised for it.”

Cinta’s motivation for running spans across a 10-year healing journey. Last year, she ran the Melbourne Marathon in honour of her twin stillborn daughters Addison and Alola, using the race as a way to honour their memory and raise awareness of stillbirth. Her resilience and determination in the face of such a tragedy is a testament to her own strength.

“I wanted to do something special and positive to honour their memory for their 10th birthday. The loss of my daughters was the most traumatic life experience and I want to share that experience, help break stigmas by talking about my journey through grief, and give other families a space where they could feel free and not judged,” Cinta shared.

Through her journey in training for the 2023 Melbourne Marathon, Cinta created a meaningful and important space for women to talk about their experiences of stillbirth, whilst simultaneously raising almost two thousand dollars for the Stillbirth Foundation Australia and raising awareness for their cause.

In addition to her running accomplishments, Cinta holds a teaching degree and is passionate about education and empowering the next generation.

Cinta is currently working on creative weaving projects under the name “Wangkumara Wanderers” alongside her sister Bonnie, who, inspired by Cinta, graduated through the IMP in 2021. You can show your support for their business by either making a purchase or spreading the word by sharing their page on Facebook.