Recently the Sport Projects team had the honour of organising the Olivia Newton-John Wellness Walk and Research Run on behalf of Austin Health.

Our team had already been involved in the course and traffic management planning and delivery for the event for the previous two years, but in 2018 our role was stepped up. With a new fundraising and events team on board and limited experience with the previous editions of the event, it made sense to de-risk the all-important event delivery, by contracting an event operations team.


Furthermore and perhaps more importantly, the management team at Austin Health recognised that their expertise and skills were best channelled into promoting the event, generating registrations, attracting sponsors and maximising fundraising. As I would always say, “leave the booking of the toilets to us”.

Since our involvement commenced we had always tried to forecast, as part of our proposal, the benefits of leaving the operations and logistics to us. This is the booking of the toilets sure, but also, contracting specialist marquee, staging, fencing and audio suppliers. Perhaps even more importantly, ensuring there are a team of staff and workforce deployed on event day to ensure everything is run smoothly, including the stage management of the day.

Start Line ONJ

Yes, there is an upfront commitment of cost associated with these sort of changes, as you outsource the event delivery, but you do so knowing that all of the headaches that come along with the planning and delivery of a road event are taken away from you. The event benefits from a terrific partnership with Latrobe University, who provides access to venues and courses, as well as servicing the event. But even the venue liaison is easily left to us as a team that live and breathe this activity.

Lauren Stewart was the lead project manager for Austin Health and I couldn’t have put it any better myself; “Having Sport Projects set up the logistics and event management this year has meant that we were able to spend a lot more time raising funds with the WWRR community. When we look at the increase in the number of participants, sponsorship and donations this year it has been time very well spent”.

With a record number of participants in 2018, more than 4,000, as well an overall fundraising figure of more than $600,000, the positive results are compelling. And for me, and for my mum, this event means so much more than simply having a happy client.

Read a bit more about what services Sport Projects can offer as the road event specialists, here. The ONJ Cancer Centre press release is here. Get in contact with us and we will be only too happy to discuss your objectives and whether an event like the Wellness Walk and Research Run is something that can benefit your agency or cause.

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