The Push-Up Challenge is run by a passionate crew who live across Australia. We like to think of ourselves as small but mighty in our quest to raise awareness for mental health.
The reason The Push-Up Challenge exists is because of our founder, Nick Hudson. His story is enough to inspire anyone to make change.
Chief of Push-Ups
In 2017, a bunch of us decided we needed to get our bodies back for Summer. So, the challenge was set - 3,000 push-ups in a month, no excuses. We kept tabs on each other via messages, some of which were motivating, but most were an excuse for some light banter! Over time, we noticed that we were not only getting fitter and stronger, but it became an easy way of staying in touch with each other.
The following year, I decided to take the challenge to the next level…the same push-ups, but with more mates - who then brought in their other mates, which led to over 1,000 of us all pushing ourselves to meet the target and support mental health.
In mid 2018, I found out that I needed open heart surgery – this was the real deal, where they cut your chest open and change out some bits. It hit me pretty hard. I fell into a depression leading up to the surgery and withdrew from those around me. Although the operation was successful, the recovery was a mess. Despite the efforts of family and friends, I couldn’t drag myself out of my depressed mental state. I needed a focus and so I put my heart and soul into making The Push-Up Challenge a bigger event that could make a difference – to raise awareness and funds for mental health.
With nothing to do but lie in bed and rest, I armed myself with a laptop and phone and brought a team together to help make it happen. We developed a website and tracker, did some pretty heavy promotion, and before long (insert montage of working tirelessly) we had almost 50,000 people who joined us to push for better mental health around Australia. We raised $2.5M for mental health and participants completed over 50 million push-ups as part of the event. With a population of 25 million, I like to think we improved the average health of Australians by 2 push-ups each.
The 2020 Push-Up Challenge was originally scheduled for June, until COVID-19 hit. We decided that our community needed a boost. If we could help bring people together through push-ups and potentially help those suffering with mental ill-health, then we needed to get our act together fast.
We managed to kick-off The Push-Up Challenge 2020 a month early. It was a huge learning curve for us (with a few glitches to put it politely) but we were so proud of what we achieved. We had 130,000 participants across Australia, banked 121 million push-ups and raised $5.1 million for mental health supporting headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation.
In October 2020 we established our very own charity, The Push For Better Foundation. We love what we do and are passionate about raising awareness and engaging people in mental health through physical activity, connection and education.
We were blown away! We brought together over 170,000 people from across Australia to push for better mental health. We are so proud to be sparking thousands of conversations and raising funds for mental health.
It was another big year for push-ups and mental health. Over 153,000 people joined the push for better and it was the first time we cracked $10million raised for mental health. Lifeline joined us for its second year and we welcomed Movember to the push for better crew. Our Student Ambassador program was a great success and we had our first ever dollar match day thanks to Northern Star Resources. And once again our social channels and media exposure were off the charts.
But the best part, as always, was seeing push-ups connect so many people and inspire so many conversations about mental health.
Our biggest, most impactful year yet! Over 215,000 legends took on the Challenge, and together we raised over $14.6 million for mental health. Once again we welcomed Lifeline and Movember as our charity beneficiaries, and our friends at Northern Star Resources came to the party again to host not one, but two successful Dollar Match Days.
As part of the fun, legends got their push-up on everywhere from Uluru and Parliament House to beside the Thames and even in icy Antarctica. Over 30,000 teams were created in the name of connecting over push-ups, including over 7400 workplace teams. Our schools program took off, with over 30,000 schools participants and 500 Student Ambassadors on board from every state of Australia for the first time.
As a collective, we smashed out over 315 million push-ups and sparked thousands of potentially life-saving chats between mates, colleagues and family members.