From the sidelines: Please join the Fight

GREAT WELCOME: Minto's Campbellfield Public School gave a warm welcome to local Paralympian Paul Nunnari as he promoted next month's 24 Hour Fight Against Cancer.
GREAT WELCOME: Minto's Campbellfield Public School gave a warm welcome to local Paralympian Paul Nunnari as he promoted next month's 24 Hour Fight Against Cancer.

YOU’VE probably all heard of Where’s Wally?

Well, here’s Where’s Paul?

Yes, local Paralympian Paul Nunnari – sitting on his special racing wheelchair – is hidden somewhere in this above photo, surrounded by cheering kids at Minto’s Campbellfield Public School.

I snapped the photo last Friday on what turned out to be one of those days that works like a jumper lead to your heart.

It’s so easy to get jaded by the news: from the recent political antics and the developers targeting local heritage sites to the vile morons strutting the word stage and tedious tantrums by sporting stars.

As always, we can find the most inspiration right here in Macarthur, and often it comes from our youngest.

Friday was “Fred’s Push”, held in honour of the late, great Fred Borg, with Paul going from school to school promoting October’s 24 Hour Fight Against Cancer Macarthur.

I joined other members of the Fight’s organising committee to hit the road with Paul and we met hundreds of teachers, kids, shopkeepers and passers-by, who all came as a welcome reminder that we live in a pretty amazing community.

In more recent years we’ve taken the Push to schools across Camden and Wollondilly, but this year we targeted the core bits of Campbelltown, rolling into Beverley Park, St Pat’s College, Airds High, Ruse PS, Leumeah High, Campbelltown PS, and then finished at Sarah Redfern in Minto.

We were met by guards of honour, quirky question times, lots of laughs, and touching speeches.

As always, I find the most inspiration right here in Macarthur.

Paul pushed his wheelchair all the way up the big Broughton Street hill between Beverley Park and St Pats (show off), Fight chairman Warren Morrison was on hand to lead us despite a death in his family (hats off to ya, Wazza) and sponsoring the event yet again, was Brad and Bec Purcell of Bob Jane T-mart in Blaxland Road (ratbags with big hearts).  

A big nod too to “our” cops who escorted our convoy along the way – senior constables John Crawford and Vikki Hayward who felt like honorary committee members and seemed to be almost as popular with the little kids as Paul was.

We caught up with a lot of local businesses along the way, including Ruse shops, Minto’s Fruit Orchard, and great supports of The Fight along Queen Street such as Kings Charcoal Chicken, Bar Centrale and Maccas.

Next year we're thinking of taking Paul to the newer schools in the Oran Park area, or perhaps on a bush trek out to Mount Hunter and The Oaks, etc. We’ll let you know.

The school-to-school Push is traditionally the time to start pulling your finger out (if you haven’t already) and organise and register your team for this year’s 24 Hour Fight, at Leumeah athletics stadium on  October 21-22.

Go to 24hrfight.org.au for details.

Because we’re all volunteers (no paid staff) it means all the money goes to the cause, supporting LOCAL cancer patients and providing world-class equipment to local hospitals.

But more than that, it is a giant community happening, a unifying community event drawing people from Bargo to Glenfield and Kentlyn to Oakdale that I reckon is Macarthur at its finest.

Please join us. 24 Hours is how long the event lasts, from 10am on the Saturday, not how long you have to walk (although some do). Come along and make a donation and just join the fun.

Or form a team with friends, family, workmates, or a school or sporting team.

Hope to see you there.