Rising Ironman star Dane Farrell stands out in the surf with his hair dyed blue to raise awareness and money for beyondblue.
He is currently competing as one of the top 16 ironmen in Australia in the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman Series.
Dane has also covered his surf-ski and paddleboard in beyondblue signage.
The 24-year-old said he decided recently to become a beyondblue ambassador and support the organisation because his family was affected by depression in the past.
“The work of beyondblue helps people like those in my family who have experienced depression.
“It’s an organisation that’s very close to my heart because I have seen from personal experience how devastating depression can be.
“I want to do everything I can to smash the stigma around depression and anxiety and let people who are experiencing mental health conditions know that support is readily available.”
In the lead-up to the ironman series, Farrell is training 10 to 12 times per week, with each session lasting up to 2.5 hours.
“Physical health and exercise leads to a positive outlook on life and creates a healthy environment to connect with various people.
“I find personally that if there is something on my mind, training can take away the bad thoughts and helps me see the positives in life.
“If you are experiencing depression or anxiety, it is ok to talk and seek help.
“It is a very common thing in our country, with one in six Australians having experienced anxiety and/or depression in the past 12 months.
“In the current series I am racing in, there are 16 male and 16 female competitors. This means several of them could have experienced a mental health condition in the past 12 months. So remember you are not alone.”
Dane became involved in Elouera Surf Club when he was 13 as he loved the beach and all his friends were in the surf club.
“Ironman is the sport I have chosen as it creates a healthy, fit lifestyle while being able to help the community by patrolling the beaches.
“It’s a great lifestyle to have as you stay fit, train every day and hang out with a good bunch of people.”
The Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman Series is held over six rounds across three Australian locations – Smiths Beach in the Margaret River region of Western Australia, Newcastle in New South Wales and Coolum Beach in Queensland.
To qualify for the series, which has been running for the last 10 years, more than 50 men competed in a trial event. Farrell was one of the top four men from the trial to qualify for the series to race against the competitors who had already qualified from last year’s series.
Dane is hoping to raise $15,000 for beyondblue and anyone wishing to support him can visit https://give.everydayhero.com/au/dane-farrell-ironman
beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell said Farrell’s commitment to raising awareness was remarkable.
“Dane’s passion for bringing this issue to the attention of Ironman fans and the wider community is inspirational,” she said.
“Not only will thousands of fans who attend the races get to see his show of support, but so will the thousands upon thousands of people who tune-in when the Ironman Series is broadcast on Channel 9.
“I cannot thank Dane enough for his support and delivering our messages of hope and resilience to the wider community.”