Going walkabout

QUEANBEYAN Tigers committee member Matt Napier has packed three pairs of runners and eight footballs in preparation for his next adventure.

The 35-year-old has vowed to walk while bouncing a football from Perth to Sydney to raise awareness for world poverty.

By completing The Global Poverty Walk, Mr Napier wants to bring attention the recent deferral of foreign aid by the Australian Government and urge them to recommit to giving 0.7% of the country's gross domestic product as foreign aid by 2015.

He also would like to highlight how effective foreign aid has been in the last 20 years. 

"In 1990, 12 million people died of starvation each year and in 2010 that was down to 7.6 million," he said. 

"That's a drop of 41 per cent and shows foreign aid is working and we can possibly alleviate extreme world poverty within the next generation."

Mr Napier, along with wife Wendy, will start their journey on February 2 and expect to finish in Sydney on June 28. 

Just last year, Mr Napier cycled his way from Perth to Canberra in six weeks to publicise world poverty. He said this journey will be more challenging as he'll be on the road for longer but he has prepared by walking 10 to 15 kilometres a day for the last two months.

"The ride was six weeks but this will be five months, the toll on the body is unknown. Physically, this is a lot more demanding [and] heat is going to be a big factor," he said.

"Some parts we'll be travelling through the temperatures are in the mid to high 40s, we might have to walk at night which not ideal. It's pretty flat, barren and very isolated."

Mr Napier said he will miss friends and family while on the road, not to mention the Queanbeyan Tigers Football Club.

"I'll miss footy, I've been an assistant with the Queanbeyan Tigers and we've had a successful 12 months so it's a pretty exciting time at the moment for the club," he said.

"In the middle of the Nullabor, the phone and internet reception is sparse but I'll definitely be finding out how they're going as much as I can." 

Mr Napier emphasised his journey was just to raise awareness and not about fundraising.

"There are a lot of good aid organisations doing fantastic work, people interested in donating should research which group best suits their needs," he said.

"People who would like to participate can do so by visiting the webpage and signing the petition or joining me for part of the walk, we'll be coming though Canberra and Queanbeyan.

"To keep updated on Matt Napier's journey visit www.theglobalpovertywalk.com.au.

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