Challenge for Change

Image source: Contributed

Erin Yarwood explores the benefits of undertaking challenges and discovers that if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. 

Do you need some extra motivation as the cooler weather and shorter days begin to approach?

Then why don’t you set yourself a challenge? Or better still, sign up to do a challenge and help out a great cause at the same time.

As I write this article, I have just finished the PanCare Challenge which has seen me do 63 squats every day in May. The number 63 bringing awareness to the average number of lives lost every week in Australia to Pancreatic Cancer.

Knowing the pain that people with Pancreatic Cancer are suffering makes this challenge seem simple in comparison. And it truly is rewarding and a privilege to be able to help raise money and bring awareness so such an important cause. 

As a personal trainer, I would not necessarily recommend doing 63 squats in a row but I have actually been loving this challenge. 

The physical benefits are great and I have definitely noticed my legs feeling more toned and stronger and every day feels a bit easier. Every donation to my fundraising page comes with the encouragement to complete the challenge – even if I sometimes remember just as I’ve hopped into bed!

I’m so proud to have raised $320 and my business, E-Fitness, matched all donations to make a total of $640 going to PanCare. How awesome is that? Every dollar counts.

There are so many fundraisers with numerous fitness challenges linked to them – which is such a fantastic idea!

Not only are you raising much-needed funds for an amazing cause, but in doing so you are literally working for it. 

In turn, your friends and family are sponsoring and supporting you in your endeavours. The best thing is that you are keeping active while doing some good in the world. Win-win!

It is so rewarding to participate in challenges like these. Whether it be pumping out push ups for Lifeline; smashing out sit ups for Canteen; Stepping it Out for Prostate Cancer; holding planks for The Breast Cancer Foundation; or dropping it like a squat for Pancreatic Cancer. The list goes on!

Along with toning up your thighs, strengthening your core and beefing up your guns, you are also helping out some great charities that rely heavily on donations from the public. 

So the next time you see a reputable charity promoting a challenge, don’t just keep on scrolling. Throw in some dollars but also add some sweat and energy in there too! Know that your moving and grooving is contributing to raise money and awareness for a really good cause.

You might even notice some benefits to your mind and body too. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a challenge today – your body, mind and community will better for it. I challenge you!


Prior to Covid, 3.4 million Australians were participating in 21,000 events but through 2020 and 2021 many events were cancelled. Help things get back on track by supporting these challenges:

The Push-Up Challenge, June

Raise awareness and money for mental health. Go solo or grab your mates and challenge yourself to 3139 push-ups over 24 days. You can aim for 25, 50, 75 or 100 per cent, try alternatives such as sit-ups or squats and spread them out across the day. In 2021 an incredible $9 million helped The Push For Better Foundation, headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation and Lifeline Australia run vital mental health programs and save lives.

CEO Sleepout, 23 June

Leaders in business, community and government will sleep without shelter on one of the longest and coldest nights of the year to help change the lives of Australians experiencing homelessness. In 2021, $9.3 million dollars was raised to help break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Our own Carlie Wacker is participating so register to join the Sunshine Coast team or donate at

Wishlist Fun Run 2022, 27 October

Join in the annual Wishlist Fun Run at Lake Kawana to help support the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service.

30 Day #moveforlex challenge
Get moving for those who can’t – 30 minutes per day for 30 days. Raising funds to provide care, comfort and support for families with loves ones in RBWH Intensive Care Unit. Start the challenge at any time with challenge calendars and tools at

Shake It Up Challenge

Help tackle Parkinson’s disease by raising money for Shake It Up, which partners with the Michael J. Fox Foundation, to fund research into the condition. Open to all ages and abilities, sign up anytime and nominate your activity to get going.

Get a team together and nominate your charity of choice for these upcoming events:

Sunshine Coast Marathon, 13-14 August

Noosa Triathlon, 26-30 October

About the Author /

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For over a decade, Erin has been putting people through their paces and encouraging them to be the best they can be, while keeping a healthy and active lifestyle – and having fun! She specialises in personal training and teaches a vast range of fitness classes out of E-Fitness – her vibrant, fun and welcoming personalised fitness studio in Cooroy where her one-year-old daughter, Aluna provides a welcome distraction.

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