Four Port Stephens runners embark on marathon exchange to Japan

Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer, with local runners Amanda Russell, Jenny Patten, Ann Lees and Margaret Lewis, and Port Stephens Sister Cities Committee chairman Nigel Dique.
Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer, with local runners Amanda Russell, Jenny Patten, Ann Lees and Margaret Lewis, and Port Stephens Sister Cities Committee chairman Nigel Dique.

 

FOUR Port Stephens women are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime, as they head to Tateyama, Japan to compete in the Wakashio marathon on Sunday 28 January 2018.

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The opportunity to participate in the marathon exchange has been made possible thanks to financial assistance from Port Stephens Council and the Port Stephens Sister Cities Committee.

Amanda Russell from Raymond Terrace, and Margaret Lewis, Jenny Patten and Ann Lees from Corlette, were selected to take part in the exchange, which will see them enjoy four days in Tateyama, near Tokyo from Thursday 25 January 2018.

Port Stephens Sister Cities Committee Chairman Nigel Dique says the runners will be put up in homestay accommodation and will have the opportunity to experience the Japanese way of life.

“Our local runners will be participating in the Wakashio Marathon, an annual event attracting more than 9,000 participants from around the world,” Mr Dique said.

“This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see another country, experience another culture and test yourself both physically and mentally with the challenge of a marathon.”

Mayor of Port Stephens Ryan Palmer says the exchange is an important part of Port Stephens’ relationship with Tateyama.

“Tateyama has been the sister city of Port Stephens since 2009 and the marathon exchange is an important part of our long-standing friendship, with participants from Port Stephens invited to send runners each year,” Mayor Palmer said.

“But this is much more than a competition. It’s a cultural exchange, and an opportunity for our local participants to form lifelong friendships and memories.

“These four local runners are wonderful ambassadors for Port Stephens, and I have no doubt that they will do our region very proud in Tateyama,” he said.

Mayor Palmer says the Sister Cities Committee is invaluable to this exchange program.

“It’s a credit to the Port Stephens Sister Cities Committee that we have such strong ties with Tateyama, as it has worked tirelessly to maintain connections with our sister cities,” he said.

“I’m proud that Council has been able to make a contribution to our representatives and I’m really looking forward to hearing about their trip when they return,” he added.

Council and the Port Stephens Sister Cities Committee provided each participant with $300 to help cover airfares, passport costs, meals and other travel costs.

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