Port Stephens team selected for Japanese Marathon Exchange Program Port POPUP - DAupdate Port Stephens Port Stephens News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - December 6, 2023 Michele Goodman, Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer, Wesley Mail and Kevin Atkins. THE Port Stephens Sister City of Tateyama, Japan will welcome three Port Stephens residents for the Wakashio Marathon on 28 January 2024. This will be the first marathon in three years following cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Advertise with News of The Area today. It’s worth it for your business. Message us. Phone us – (02) 4981 8882. Email us – firstname.lastname@example.org Michele Goodman from Nelson Bay and Wesley Mail from Corlette will run in the full 42km marathon while Shoal Bay resident Kevin Atkins will compete in the 10km leg. Tateyama is one of three sister cities in Japan that Port Stephens connects with through regular cultural, educational and sporting exchanges. Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer said the marathon exchange was an important part of the Council’s strong relationship with Tateyama. “It’s not just the run, but the unique cultural experience which is built around the marathon that makes it such a rewarding event. “Participating in events like this creates a rare opportunity and one that builds both lasting friendships and lifelong memories. “We wish Kevin, Michele and Wesley all the best as ambassadors for Port Stephens in Tateyama.” The runners will be home hosted for six days commencing on arrival on 25 January. Michele Goodman’s training for her first ever marathon is now in full flow after hearing about the exchange program via her local running club, The Tomaree Trotters. “I thought I’d put my hand up and give it a go,” said Michele. “I’m going out there a week early so I can do a bit of sight-seeing before meeting up with the others, but in the meantime I’m doing lots of strengthening and trying to keep injuries at bay.” The team will attend a Mayoral Reception, a Japanese cultural session and a marathon running class by a professional coach. While each will pay for their airfares, Port Stephens Council via the Mayoral Fund has donated $350 to support travel and other costs. For further information, contact Nigel Dique, Chairperson of the Port Stephens Sister Cities Committee on 0423 024 819. By Simon EKINS Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer, Wesley Mail, Michele Goodman and Kevin Atkins.