Brett Murray is a triathlete with a difference. While many individuals enter the grueling sport of endurance triathlons to challenge themselves and their limits, many compete to celebrate a new lease of life, be it weight loss or overcoming serious illness, or even raising funds for cancer research like four-time world champion and Challenge Family ambassador, Chris ‘Macca’ McCormack.
Brett Murray, a newcomer to triathlon, is the only triathlete in the world competing for the sole purpose of raising awareness of bullying. Now partnering with the Challenge Family, with incredible support from ‘Macca’, Brett Murray will be competing in the inaugural Challenge Forster. “Bullying is something that affects everyone on the planet,” Brett said. “You’ve either been bullied, you’ve been a bully, or you’ve seen it.
In 2012 over 2500 people committed suicide, 450 of those were teenagers under the age of 18. In 80 per cent of all cases adult and teen, bullying was a major contributing factor. “I’ve been an anti-bully author and consultant to schools and corporations for over ten years. There is no magic wand or silver bullet. “Bullying is long-term, on-going targeted negative behaviour towards others disempowering them. “To stop bullying takes a long-term, ongoing, disciplined effort. The same as what it takes to prepare for and complete an endurance triathlon. So I’m putting my body on the line to show what it takes to disarm bullying.”
Since first contacting Challenge back in 2011 to enter the then Cairns Challenge, Brett has had to overcome his own adversity. Whilst preparing for the Cairns Challenge, Brett suffered a massive ruptured disc injury, almost ending his triathlon career before it started. After being told he may never walk properly again, let alone compete in a challenge iron distance or 70.3 event without an operation, Brett was unable to compete in 2012 and had to undergo major rehabilitation.
Brett refused the operation, instead enlisting the advice and services of expert physiotherapists, and this year completed his first triathlon in the Elite Energy series in Port Stephens, an Olympic distance race, in 2hrs 31mins, not bad for his first ever triathlon. Three weeks later he finished Cairns, and now, this weekend, will compete in his first Challenge Half at Forster. “Ever since Chris McCormack heard about my cause, to Make Bullying History and raise awareness of bullying, he threw his support behind me,” Brett said. “Chris introduced me to Mark ‘Emo’ Emerton who in a short time has shown unbelievable support. The Challenge Family represent the number one weapon in combating bullying… Family. Not to mention the encouraging environment of the triathlon community. “If we could simply bottle the triathlon community spirit and spread it globally, bullying would be disarmed overnight.
“That’s why I’m partnering together with Challenge and the triathlon community to keep spreading the message, we can Make Bullying History.” Brett is the author of ‘Make Bullying History’ and is the resident youth expert on the Sunrise program.