Ross Marathons will help children do it Just Like Jack

RELAY: Jack Duffy with his father Chris. Jack was chosen to take part in the Queen's Baton Relay in the lead-up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Picture: Paul Scambler
RELAY: Jack Duffy with his father Chris. Jack was chosen to take part in the Queen's Baton Relay in the lead-up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Picture: Paul Scambler

Every entrant for the 2018 Ross Marathons will help put smiles on the faces of children living with disabilities, according to Chris Duffy. 

Mr Duffy’s Launceston organisation Just Like Jack will be the beneficiary of the Ross Marathons this year, with a couple of dollars from every entry going toward the charity. 

Just Like Jack buys running chairs for special needs children to compete in fun runs and marathons.

“When you see the smile on the faces of the kids and everyone clapping them at the finishing line you really see why it’s all worth it,” Mr Duffy said.

“All you have to do is look at their faces and the satisfaction they get from achieving something so special and it’s amazing.”

The charity’s namesake is Mr Duffy’s son – 11-year-old Jack Duffy

Jack was born with cerebral palsy spastic quadriplegia and is unable to walk unassisted. 

However, that hasn’t stopped him from completing long-distance running events and treks around the state.

His journeys have included the Overland Track, Launceston Ten and Point to Pinnacle half marathon. 

Jack will take part in the full 42-kilometre run at the Ross Marathons in September with his father pushing him every step of the way.

“It’s not hard to get motivated for it when you’ve got Jack and other kids who would do anything to be able to run these events and you realise how easy you have it,” Mr Duffy said.

“It’s not hard to put in a bit of effort.”

Event director Tracy Canham said she would like to raise a couple of thousand dollars for Just Like Jack.

If they raise $2000 it would be enough to buy a running chair for one child living with a disability.

Ms Canham said the charity was chosen for the work they do in the Northern Tasmanian community with special needs children. 

“It’s a fantastic organisation and they’re doing really incredible work in getting people with special needs active,” she said.

“The course is road friendly for wheelchair users and will probably be a couple of celebral palsy athletes.”

Registrations close for the Ross Marathons on August 30.