'Do the 5 for Police Legacy' fun run at Speers Point on Saturday, June 22

The Do the 5 for Police Legacy fun run presents an opportunity for participants to consider not only the mental health of police officers - but also of themselves, Lake Macquarie Superintendent Danny Sullivan says.

Supt. Sullivan and his counterpart of Newcastle City, Brett Greentree, will lead the now annual fundraising event at Speers Point this Saturday, June 22.

Supt. Sullivan said the run was predominately focused on raising funds for Police Legacy, but there was a range of benefits it could achieve.

He said Police Legacy had traditionally cared for families of deceased officers, but the organisation now works on the "wellness" of officers.

"Emergency service workers, unfortunately, suffer a higher proportion of PTSD and mental-health related injuries than other occupations," he said.

"[Police Legacy] are still doing their core business, which is looking after the families of officers who have given up their life for their community, but now they're also starting to do some preventative work and address wellness in those officers who are struggling with the outcomes of their work while they're still alive."

The fun run promotes five lifestyle principles: move a little more, be a little better, stress a little less, connect a little more, and have gratitude for what you have.

Supt. Sullivan believes the principles are a simple guide for officers, or for anyone, to follow in order to live a strong and healthy life, which he hopes the community run can help advocate.

"You'll get a chance to reflect on your own approach and your own mental health," he said.

"Our focus will be on the mental health of our police, but it's such a focus for the whole community. And that builds up having that gratitude for just how wonderful Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Hunter is."

Supt. Sullivan said the run allowed the community and local police to connect, something he felt was essential in modern poling and was particularly evident in the two commands.

"That healing power of community is something that's really powerful," he said. "The police are the community and the community are the police.

"And that strong healing power of community is really what I think sets us apart from other parts of NSW and makes us so special.

"Even though we're growing and we're big and we're cosmopolitan, we still have community."

Superintendent Greentree said he had witnessed the work of Police Legacy after the death of "good friend" Sergeant Geoffrey Richardson, who died in a car crash while on duty at Raymond Terrace in 2016.

"They do a lot of great work," he said. "But that's a close to home example."

Do the 5 is supported by H Events and Lake Macquarie City Council. Registrations can be made online with entry $25 for adults, $15 for children and $50 for a family.

Superintendent Greentree said he had "already conceded" the five-kilometre race to Supt. Sullivan.

"He's too fast for me, I can't beat him. He's pretty quick, Danny. I'd probably roll him in a bit longer [race]."

Making news

Comments