Women can achieve incredible things when they support each other and this April, Ayesha Razzaq is helping empower two Indigenous women – Emma and Loren – to achieve their goals through exercise.
Ayesha, who is ActewAGL General Manager Retail, was approached by former world champion marathon runner Robert de Castella to participate in the Boston Marathon alongside two Indigenous runners while raising funds for the Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF).
“Training is tough but what I have found is as business leaders we have a tough gig and what running does is provides a moving meditation for me and keeps me mentally, emotionally and physically grounded,” Ayesha said.
The Boston Marathon will be Ayesha’s third marathon event, after New York in 2014 and Tokyo (2017), and she has set herself an ambitious fundraising target of $42,195. The very specific number represents the 42,195m distance of the Boston Marathon.
The funds will be used to help the IMF run their programs with a portion going towards covering Emma and Loren’s involvement at the Boston Marathon. Ayesha said all donations will go towards IMF as she will be funding her own trip.
For Emma, the event is an opportunity to address ‘unfinished business’. Emma was running the Boston Marathon in 2013, her first marathon event, when she was taken off the course at the 40km mark due to the bombings at the finish line.
For Loren, a single mother of three, the event is a chance to challenge herself, as just six months ago she was unable to run further than 500m.
Ayesha said participating in marathons does not just offer reward for the athletes but “has a ripple effect to their families and communities”.
“I’m a strong believer of empowering through fitness and I don’t think there’s a single bullet that’s going to solve the situation that we see in Indigenous Australia. But what I believe this program does and I’ve seen firsthand … is provides young Indigenous Australians with an opportunity to make a difference, instil into themselves a sense of purpose and when you can fuse your purpose with your passion, I think that’s when the magic happens,” she said.
To support Ayesha’s efforts, donations can be made online at boston.gofundraise.com.au