By Sam Watson

LAST Wednesday, the San Remo Hotel-Motel started a 24-hour treadmill challenge to raise funds for the Windermere Foundation’s ‘Kids on Track’ program.

The $4300 raised will be used to help children who are deeply affected by anti-social behaviour they are experiencing or displaying.

The challenge started at 2pm on Wednesday and over the next 24 hours more than 50 people hopped on the three treadmills, making sure at least one was going at all times.

Richmond legend and Windermere ambassador Matthew Richardson came down to San Remo to complete the final 30 minutes of the challenge.

Richardson, San Remo Hotel owner Peter Williams and publican Ben Fisher were the last three walkers on the treadmills as the crowd counted down the final seconds.

Earlier, the crowd was treated to an interview with Richardson where Fisher showcased his Denton-like skills.

After the treadmills were turned off, Richardson hung around to mingle with the crowd and raise a bit more money for the foundation he’s been involved with for about eight years.

Williams’ wife Colleen, who organised the fundraiser, is heading over to Western Australia in October to take part in the Windermere Foundation’s Trek to Keep Kids Safe.

She and six other women from the hospitality industry have formed a team to trek along the Cape-to-Cape walking track, 250km south of Perth, to raise vital funds for the Kids on Track program.

With Matthew Richardson is Annette Verhoeff, Colleen Williams and Jackie Booth, who all put in a lot of work behind the scenes at the San Remo Hotel’s Windermere Foundation fundraiser. wa04_1521

Richardson will be joining her team and a few others on the walk to raise funds for a cause he holds close to his heart.

After he retired from playing, the superstar forward was looking at doing some work in the community and when his good friend Carl Strachan told him about the Windermere Foundation, he signed up as an ambassador straight away.

His walk in October will be his second with Windermere, after doing the Kokoda Track a few years ago.

“That was an incredible experience, not only to see what happened over there in World War 2 but also to be able to raise some money for Windermere,” Richardson said.

He also said it was great to see so many people in San Remo come and support a cause he cares so much about.

“With what everyone’s been through in the last 12 months in Australia and throughout the world, I think just getting into your community and supporting each other is really important, probably more important than ever,” Richardson said.

“And I think we are doing that, whenever something comes up, we’re jumping on board and helping each other out. People are donating hard-earned money to a good cause, so yeah, it’s fantastic.”

Jackie Booth and Colleen Williams were collecting donations for the Windermere Foundation as the Treadmill Challenge came to a close. wa02_1521

Colleen was also very appreciative of the local support they had received.

“We always appreciate what our community does,” she said.

She also had friends involved in the fundraiser come down from Melbourne who were blown away with how supportive the community was.

And to have someone like Richardson come down was the cherry on top.

Richmond legend and Windermere Ambassador Matthew Richardson was a popular visitor at the San Remo Hotel on Thursday. wa03_1521

“It was wonderful, his time was invaluable to us. It was extremely generous of him to give us his time,” Colleen said.

Colleen was also grateful to Taryn Bould who donated a treadmill which was then sold to Matthew King for $250.

She also thanked Ben Fisher, Leesa Moir who helped organise the event, Elaine Ferteis and Kevin Lister for lending their treadmills and for everyone who walked, especially the ‘A Team’ which had the graveyard shift.

“Some people were amazing, they did two- or three-hour stints which were greatly appreciated.”

Over the 24 hours there were only two small tumbles on the treadmills, amongst lot of little staggers, but thankfully no one was hurt.

Donations to Colleen’s walk with Windermere are still accepted until the walk in October, so if you’re interested head to