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Queanbeyan boxer gets new kicks for Lifeline fundraising

After walking 500km in a hotel room during isolation and raising $6,200 for Lifeline Canberra, Queanbeyan local Josh Tonna was thanked for his efforts today at the Canberra Outlet Centre.

Walking between eight and 10 hours per day in a stretch of hotel room just 11 steps long, Asics at the Canberra Outlet Centre has gifted him a pair of premium runners to replace those he wore out completing the task.

Josh was quarantining after competing in a Muay Thai competition in Singapore last month, and said he was stoked to be gifted the shoes and to fundraise for Lifeline.

“It feels good, the shoes are super comfy, and I do enjoy ultra-running, so they are definitely going to come in handy,” he smiled.

“The goal originally was to raise $1,500 but it just kept rolling in and the story spread around, and I raised $6,200.

“I believe it helps answer around 224 phone calls for Lifeline – I was pretty happy with that. They do great work for people who feel as though they are isolated. I guess I could somewhat relate to that while I was in isolation.”

Completing his quarantine in Sydney, Josh was away from his wife and two children back home in Queanbeyan, while also dealing with the loss of his fight in Singapore.

Josh was awarded with his new shoes and joined by representatives from Lifeline, MuayU and Lifeline Canberra Cavalry. Photo: Simona Razmoska.

Today, Josh was joined at Asics by Lifeline Canberra CEO Carrie-Ann Leeson who described his story as one of “incredible determination and resilience”.

“It’s challenging and isolating and not being able to get to family is hard. It is an ultimate resilience story,” she said.  

“Whether that is in quarantine or not, I think at the moment we are all being forced to bring joy to our day in some way, shape or form.”

Ms Leeson said the money raised by Josh had come at a time when the crisis call centre was experiencing an unprecedented number of calls.

“We aren’t getting to every caller. These are people finding the courage to pick up the phone and talk to someone and not everyone gets answered,” she said.

“We are lucky in that every dollar donated by Josh goes straight to the crisis line.”

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