Last year Rachel’s Runners had the pleasure of meeting Australian Olympic runner Eloise Wellings and you may recall she wrote a blog post for us about running and being a busy mum. What you may not know about Eloise is not only is she a champion runner, super-mum, running coach and RR mentor, she is also a woman of great vision and compassion. Today Eloise’s great friend and Manager of the Love Mercy Foundation, Caitlin Barrett, gives us an insight into another of Eloise’s passions and invites you all to attend a special event…
Many of you may have followed the career of Sydney Olympian Eloise Wellings since her teenage years. Eloise qualified for the Sydney Olympics 5000m event when she was just 16 years of age, only to later have to pull out due to a stress fracture she sustained soon afterwards. Wellings has managed to overcome several injuries, which plagued her career, going on to compete in the London 2012 Olympics in both the 10,000m and 5000m events.
During these difficult times Eloise did some rehab at a Nike facility in Portland, Oregon where she met Ugandan Olympian Julius Achon. After hearing his harrowing story of being captured and forced into being a child soldier during a 25 year civil war, Wellings returned home and in 2009 started the Love Mercy Foundation. As the only aid organisation that works in Julius’ village of Awake, Love Mercy aims to transform the war torn community into a thriving region with access to education, health care and employment.
Eloise works mostly with women and children through Love Mercy’s programs. Their major project, Cents for Seeds, is an agricultural program empowering women to provide for their families through education, training and a loan of 30kg of seeds. With over 1000 women participating, Eloise has seen first hand the impact that such a simple program can have. “Cents for Seeds literally changes entire communities. By targeting women, we have seen incredible results, as the women are primarily responsible for their children, for meals, education, and medical care. When you give a mum the ability to earn an income, she will most likely always spend that income on the wellbeing of her family. More children are happier, healthier, and better educated following this program in an area with limited government or charity support.”
Eloise has linked her running career directly with her cause, and runs with passion in her heart for her work in Uganda. She regularly visits the projects to learn from the people and hear how their lives are being impacted by Love Mercy’s hard work fundraising here in Australia.
To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, Eloise is holding an event on 7 March following Menai parkrun to raise awareness about the Cents for Seeds program and explain just how easy it is to bring about change for a family in Uganda. Eloise is inviting you all to run the 5km course with her and hear first hand about her inspiring career and humanitarian work.
Where: Parc Menai, Menai NSW (opposite Menai Marketplace)
When: Saturday 7 March, 2015
Time: 7:30am – 10am
Coffee and snacks provided after parkrun.
Pacers will be provided for those who want to race against the clock.
For further information and to register your interest in this event please head to – https://www.facebook.com/events/1390227524620955/