Local cross-fitters aim to do 8,000 burpees to raise awareness for Māori men's mental health issues

Headlines 13/11/2020

Movember annually sees tāne from all walks of life give up the razor in favour of raising awareness of men's mental health issues, and a group of young Māori cross-fitters hope to continue that proud tradition.

Aspiring fitness enthusiast Eru Kapa-Kingi and his friends have banded together to burpee the height of Mt Everest (8,848m tall) in one week, which means they'll be attempting over 8,000 burpees.

Kapa-Kingi has enlisted the help of eleven friends to help complete the task, meaning each person has been asked to contribute 738 burpees overall, or over 100 a day.

Kapa-Kingi says the idea originated from a close friend of his who works with the Movember foundation.

"The idea actually came from one my good friends who is an advocate for the Movember Foundation. He then laid down the challenge to me and few others to get a team together and do it. I think really the perceived ridiculousness of the challenge is what makes it such a mean cause to get behind, and is a great way for people to really show how committed they are!" said Kapa-Kingi.

When asked about why he believes such a cause is so relevant for tāne Māori, Kapa-Kingi explained that Māori men disproportionately suffer from mental health issues when compared to other ethnic groups.

"The unfortunate truth is that young Māori men suffer from mental health problems at a disproportionate rate to other demographics in Aotearoa. The sharpest end of that suffering is seen in the high rates of suicide among young Māori men. So it couldn’t be more relevant to us - hence why we didn’t hesitate to do this challenge if it means awareness around our brothers’ suffering grows from it."

Kapa-Kingi's claims are backed up by the statistics surrounding Māori mental health, with the suicide rate among Māori men rising to almost 32 per 100,000 in 2016 - more than double the non-Māori male rate.

The challenge began at the start of the week, and at the time of writing this the group are at the 6,000 burpees mark with just under 3,000 left to go.

Kapa-Kingi says "The team is in good spirits and we’re all supporting each other to get them all done by the end of this weekend. I’m proud as of the team’s efforts as well - we’ve got mums, dads, students, coaches, all types of people involved, and they’re all fitting this in with their everyday mahi!"

The challenge is on schedule to by completed by the end of the weekend.

Credit to Te Ao Māori News for the story and thumbnail images.