Challenge a push over for Jayden

The Hills Sports High School is leading the nation in the push-up challenge thanks to vice-captain Jayden Brien. Jim Griffiths reports.

Push-Up Challenge CEO Nick Hudson next to Hills Sports High School star fundraiser Jayden Brien
Image: Push-Up Challenge CEO Nick Hudson with Hills Sports High School star fundraiser Jayden Brien

One hundred and eighty-seven students and teachers from The Hills Sport High School have come together to push for better mental health as part of The Push-Up Challenge, a nationwide event bringing people together to get fit, learn about mental health and raise funds.

Their efforts have them at the top of the event’s National Education leader board.

Initiated by vice-captain Jayden Brien, the students and teachers are challenging themselves to complete 3,139 push-ups over 24 days in June, representing the number of Australians who lost their life to suicide in 2020.

Jayden said his main purpose in getting involved was to bring people together to tackle mental health issues.

“Sparking conversations around mental health is really important, and by bringing everyone together on the push up challenge, we can start chatting and supporting each other,” the Year 12 student said.

Jayden’s original goal of raising $3,000 has already been surpassed by $16,500.

“It’s an amazing experience and feels so good to know we are the nation’s best fund raisers,” said Jayden.

“I’ve learnt so much participating in this, and it was fantastic seeing so many people at the push-up stations when we started on June 1.”

Nick Hudson, founder of The Push-Up Challenge, was so impressed with Jayden and the school’s efforts he made the trip from Perth to personally visit the school last week.

At an address to the students, he spoke of his own mental health challenge, the importance of getting it out in the open and how he developed the push-up challenge.

“The Push-Up Challenge is all about bringing mental health to the forefront of our conversations and raising awareness. By pushing to breakdown the stigma attached to mental health issues, we’re letting people who are struggling know that they can reach out and receive the support they need without judgement,” said Mr Hudson.

The Push-Up Challenge is Australia’s largest mental health and fitness event, with people of all ages and walks of life participating to push for better mental health. Funds raised support Movember, Lifeline and the Push For Better Foundation.

Each day, participants complete their push-ups while learning about mental health, with the number of push-ups changing day to day to reflect a vital mental health statistic.

To support Jayden and The Hills Sports High School teams, you can visit their Push-Up Challenge community page.

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