Queenslanders are getting set to walk the world’s tallest mountain.

The challenge, setting new heights, is all in the name of helping sick children.

James Weir reports.

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Ready, set, go … crowds gathered in Brisbane today, signing up to pound the pavement.

Karenlee Spillane, Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO: “The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation is again conducting the Everest Virtual Challenge. It’s pretty much, if you’ve never climbed Everest, you can pretty much do it through the virtual challenge.”

The event, which encourages teams to walk the distance of Mount Everest over two weeks, aims to raise $150,000 for sick children.

Karenlee Spillane, Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO: “The money goes into research. Paediatric research is extremely important and it can be the basis of changing children’s lives and, in fact, lives of adults.”

Jack is one little boy who knows the importance of this. He suffers from cystic fibrosis, a life-long disease.

While he enjoys some of the perks when in hospital, he knows there are more important things.

Toni, Jack’s Mother: “From my point of view I don’t worry so much about the Wii games or the toys or the lollies that this sort of fundraising produces. What I see is it gives equipment that the hospital desperately needs for kids like Jack who have cystic fibrosis and other conditions.”

Brisbane swimming star Sophie Edington is competing in a team to support the event … But she won’t be trading the pool for the track anytime soon.

Sophie Edington, Olympic Swimmer: “Well, you don’t necessarily have to walk at all as well. As a swimmer I’ve been told every fifteen minutes of activity equates to about a thousand steps.”

In a team of fifteen, each member only has to walk ten-thousand steps a day. With every step you take being counted on a pedometer, almost anyone can do it.

And how far will Jack be walking every day?

Jack, Patient: “More than 10,000 steps! 10,000 steps!”

Teams start clocking their steps for the challenge on May 17.

James Weir, QUT News


Everest Virtual Challenge