The humble act of doing press-ups has never had such an impressive impact on a community as it has in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Thanks to Matt Holden, the driving force behind 'Mates of Mates for Mates' an initiative that raises funds for the Royal Support Trust, the simple act of exercise has become a powerful tool for change.
Holden opened up to REX host Dominic George about the genesis of the initiative and how it's had a profound effect on the community.
"What happened is someone put our country in lockdown... I started getting really bad anxiety. I think somebody was going to bloody nominate me and sure enough it did, and that was the best thing that ever happened to me," he said.
The 'Mates of Mates for Mates' event grew out of a press-up challenge on social media. Holden and his mates completed 25 press-ups for 25 days, documenting their journey and sharing their personal experiences, which led to the creation of a 16-minute video.
It is this video that Holden uses as a powerful tool during the event, giving attendees a raw, emotional, and inspirational experience. But the event is more than just about press-ups.
With workshops co-hosted with Matt Chisholm, breathing techniques taught by Cam and Kate McLeay, and a happy hour, Holden ensures attendees not only contribute to a great cause but also walk away with tools for self-care and mental wellbeing.
The result? A community-wide effort that raised an astounding $40,000 in cash and 40,000 in kind from 40 local businesses, all in support of the Royal Support Trust.
For more information about the event this Friday, November 10th, head to rural-support.org.nz and find the mates of mates for mates event.
Holden's enthusiasm about the future of the initiative is infectious.
“I’m reasonably persistent, and yeah, this is not gonna go away... I've been approached by a friend who's offered to help set up Mates of Mates for Mates as a foundation.”
While Holden is excited about the future of 'Mates of Mates, for Mates,' he remains grounded in the purpose of the initiative.
"It's about actually celebrating success as well, because sometimes there's so much you know it's all about the negatives, but actually we need to get better as Kiwis at celebrating success."
Holden’s initiative not only brings people together but also highlights the importance of physical and mental well-being.
Listen to the full chat between Matt Holden and Dominic George above.