Photo: The Kiama Man Walk Group.
The Man Walk has found its way to Yass, officially launching over the weekend on Sunday, December 19.
Starting from 7am at Walker Park in Yass you can meet up with some mates to start the day off bright and early.
In true Aussie mateship culture, the Man Walk is largely based around social connection and building friendships. Besides a casual morning chat, the group also provides an opportunity for those feeling isolated to find someone to talk to.
Yass’ Manbassador, the leader of the local group, is Chris Tetley and keen locals can join the group by following The Man Walk – Yass Facebook Page.
There’s no need to sign up or say you’re coming that morning, but locals can stay up to date on walk times, locations, and cancellations.
The nationwide not-for-profit was founded in 2019 by Kiama resident Mark Burns and now boasts 71 walks around Australia.
Mark said the morning walk is free and open to all blokes so come along for a walk and a chat.
“It’s just a side-by-side walk and a chat,” he said. “Most of the time we talk about absolute rubbish.”
“But if people are feeling a bit down and want to talk about that, then that’s what the blokes talk about.”
The 45-year-old began his morning walking ritual in an attempt to change his habits by starting the day fresh with the sunrise, a coffee and a walk around the Kiama harbour.
A few mates soon joined Mark and they brainstormed The Man Walk and its slogan – Walk, Talk, Support.
“Connection and friendship are a big part of it,” he said. “As well as the mental health benefits and a bit of physical exercise.”
The ball began rolling when a friend started a walk in Wollongong and a Coolangatta resident saw the group’s Facebook page and began one in his own local area.
Mark said the group blew up nearly overnight when a social media post went viral with over a million reactions. The next thing he knew he was featured on The Today Show, news and newspapers around Australia.
“A few mates joined and it’s kind of exploded,” he said. “We just had requests coming in from all over the country.”
From Launceston to Alice Springs and Perth. New towns are picking up their walking shoes with Crookwell starting last Friday, Cooma the week before and Yass joining the movement last Sunday.
By Brianna O’Rourke