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Athletes take on 3,144 push-ups all for a good cause

01 June 2023

This June ten high performance athletes are putting their strength to the test and taking on 3,144 push-ups to help raise much-needed funds for mental health charities.

Image of tandem cyclists celebrating with their hands in the ar
Australian cyclist Caitlin Ward, 2022 Commonwealth Games track cycling gold medallist, is one of ten athletes taking part in the challenge.

Track cyclist Caitlin Ward is joining forces with South Australian Hockey players to undertake The Push-Up Challenge – Australia’s largest fitness-based mental health initiative.

In 2023 the athletes will undertake the online challenge alongside more than 100,000 participants. Each push-up represents a life lost to suicide in 2021 – a statistic that startled Ward.

“Being an advocate for health to me, is such an important aspect and part of the privilege of being an athlete. This challenge is so extraordinary because of the amount of push ups in 23 days, and the number reflecting the amount of lives lost to suicide really struck a cord with me,” Ward said.

Since launching in 2016, the initiative has raised more than $26 million for Lifeline, Movember and the Push for Better Foundation.

Founder Nick Hudson said: “The Push-Up Challenge is a great way to get fit, connect with your colleagues, learn about mental health and raise money for this important cause.

“It’s likely everyone will encounter a mental illness at some point in their lives. So by getting down, pushing up and learning about mental health, we hope to break down the stigma attached to mental illness so that Australians don’t think twice about helping someone who might be suffering from it, or reaching out for help themselves,” he concluded.

The event is free to take part in and runs from June 1-23. For more information and to register visit:

The AIS is proud to support the initiative through the Community Partnerships Program which connects athletes with community-based organisations around the country.

Athletes taking part in the 2023 challenge include;

  • Caitlin Ward (Track cycling)
  • Aiden Cameron (Hockey)
  • Emily Cochrane (Hockey)
  • Mitchell Dell (Hockey)
  • Fred Gray (Hockey)
  • Carly Hoffmann (Hockey)
  • Jack Holland (Hockey)
  • Kyton Rayner (Hockey)
  • Katie Sharkey (Hockey)
  • Lucy Sharman (Hockey)
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