Cambridge Park resident Zachary Ryan is striving to ‘make a flipping change’ when it comes to men’s mental health awareness.
The 22-year-old is challenging himself to flip a 130kg tyre around the Nepean River in under six hours, whilst fundraising for mental health organisation LIVIN.
Mr Ryan said he relies heavily on exercise for his own mental health and came up with the idea of the fundraiser after gyms closed earlier this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“An athlete known as Ross Edgely does gruelling challenges for great causes,” he told the Weekender.
“These range from scaling the height of Mount Everest on a rope, to pulling a car the length of a marathon and most notably, swimming around Great Britain.
“So with no football to play, but a tyre I started to get adventurous and think about what I could do to make a difference in such tough times.”
Mr Ryan said growing up he has seen many of his friends battle with mental health, a battle some have unfortunately lost.
“I wanted to do this to not only honour those few people, but all people who have lost their battles or feel as though they’re on the downward spiral,” he said.
“I want them to know it’s never too late to reach out and someone is always willing to listen.”
Mr Ryan will be completing the challenge on Sunday, August 30 (weather permitting) around the 6.5km of the river.
“I feel as though the world has woken up to how big a problem mental health is, but I hope to reiterate how important life is,” Mr Ryan said.
“Whether you think so or not, you matter, you are significant and there are people out there who want to listen and help.
“The tyre is going to be a battle, and there’s going to be times of weakness and times I will want to quit, but my promise is – it doesn’t matter how long it takes or what happens, I will beat that tyre just like I hope to see more and more people beat their own mental health battles.”
To donate, visit bit.ly/2CWmNdF.
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Nicola Barton is a news journalist with the Western Weekender, primarily covering crime and politics.