Oxfam Australia has made the decision to cancel the Trailwalker events in Sydney and Adelaide due to the ongoing uncertainty around the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and public health policies and restrictions.
Oxfam Australia Fundraising Director Andrew Buchanan said the tough decision was made in recognition of the unpredictability of regulations and restrictions going forward, which made it very difficult to plan a mass participation event.
Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney was scheduled to be held from 21-23 August, with the Adelaide event scheduled for 16-18 October.
“The cancellation of the Sydney and Adelaide events is hugely disappointing, but we are sincerely grateful for all the hard work and support of participants, volunteers and staff involved in the events, which raise money for our work to help improve the lives of people living in poverty,” Mr Buchanan said.
“The current environment and ongoing uncertainty has made it very hard to know what restrictions or regulations to expect in the months ahead, and it is therefore extremely difficult to plan a complex event like Trailwalker.
“Our registrations for the two events are also well down at this stage, which reflects the fact that the coronavirus crisis has left potential participants unsure whether the events will go ahead, or if they are able to train and fundraise.
“At the end of the day, the health, safety and wellbeing of participants, volunteers and staff is our number one concern.
“We are now working hard towards planning the 2021 Oxfam Trailwalker season, so we’d ask our participants to stay posted for updates.”
Mr Buchanan said participants were being notified of the decision and Oxfam was working with relevant authorities to make the necessary arrangements for the cancellation.
“Oxfam’s Trailwalker Sydney and Adelaide events both started in 1999 and in the 21 years since we have seen more than 35,000 people from all walks of life tackle the challenge of completing a 100km trek in 48 hours in just these two cities,” Mr Buchanan said. “Together, the events have raised more than $44 million to support some of the worlds’ most vulnerable people.
“This support is needed now more than ever, with vulnerable communities and people likely to be the hardest hit as the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold.
“Oxfam is responding to COVID-19 in some of the world’s poorest countries, like Yemen, Bangladesh, Timor Leste and many others.
“We’re distributing essential supplies including personal protective equipment and hygiene kits. We are providing emergency materials and food to households, upgrading water and sanitation systems at refugee camps and health facilities, and continuing training and awareness-raising activities.”
Updates on Oxfam Trailwalker and more detailed information can be found on the Trailwalker website.