While a ‘real Olympian’ probably won’t turn up, there will be plenty of heroism when Terracon Legal stages its inaugural Terralympics later this week.
The one-day ‘mini-Olympics’ has not only been designed to test the athletic mettle of its competitors but also to raise much-needed funds for Roundabout Canberra.
Terracon Legal COO Yanna Dascarolis said competitors will showcase speed, agility, strength and power in the most testing sports, including tug-o-war, inflatable soccer and hot dog-eating.
“I’m probably most excited to see the horizontal bungee in action,” she laughs.
“It’s going to be hilarious. Honestly, the whole day is going to be so much fun.”
So far, event sponsors have included Terracon clients and business partners, but the event is open to all, with all proceeds going to Roundabout Canberra.
The charity provides safe, high-quality essential baby and children’s items to families in need.
Government funding only covers about 15 per cent of the organisation’s operating costs, making community-led fundraising initiatives such as the Terralympics more critical than ever, according to Roundabout Canberra founding CEO Hannah Andrevski.
“Last year, we saw a big increase in demand for our services and are seeing this continue into a pattern as we move through 2023,” she said.
“We’ve had a 50 per cent increase in demand compared to this period last year.
“With the cost of living pressures, we’re not only noticing a sharp rise in need among existing clients, but lots of families who previously wouldn’t have needed our help are struggling to pay for the basics.”
Ms Andrevski said corporate fundraising events make a huge difference for Canberra’s charities.
“Last year, we helped just over 3000 children. This year, we expect to help about 4000,” she said.
“Organisations like Terracon have enormous reach via great networks and connections throughout the Canberra community.
“Events like the Terralympics not only bring in vital funds but also raise awareness across the community as to what we do. That has enormous potential to attract more donations of items for us to distribute, more volunteers and more funding.
“The ripples can be enormous.”
The Terralympics was initially conceived in 2019 to be staged parallel to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but both events were postponed due to COVID.
The event’s fundraising goal is $40,000, which Ms Dascarolis says is within their sights.
As Terracon specialises in commercial property legal work, its network of clients and business partners has brought in competitors from all manner of related industries, including accounting firms, real estate agencies, developers, construction companies, appliance suppliers and other professional companies.
Aside from the main events, teams of four to six people will be invited to participate in side hustles running throughout the day and bid in an auction to raise further funds.
Ms Dascarolis said the unorthodox event was a deliberate attempt to break free of the corporate charity tropes.
“We didn’t want to hold another golf day,” she said.
“Not everyone is into that. We wanted to provide something with variety, the idea being there would be something everyone could participate in and enjoy, regardless of their fitness or interests.
“Same goes for our ongoing volunteering opportunities for staff – we didn’t want to simply offer pro bono work, but give employees the satisfaction of contributing in-kind support to a worthy cause without having to cut into their limited personal time.”
Terracon has supported Roundabout Canberra in a number of ways over the years, including an annual Christmas drive and offering all employees the opportunity to volunteer once a week on a rotating roster during work hours.
Ms Dascarolis said Canberra’s corporate sector is important in supporting the community.
“We’re a small business. We’re all fairly young. We all have our own busy lives. None of us individually have the time or resources to pull off an event like this, but together we’re going to be able to hand tens of thousands of dollars over to this wonderful charity,” she said.
“Many of us have young families, so the Roundabout Canberra cause hits close to home for a lot of us.
“Part of the reason we started this business is about wellbeing. People come to work for us because they want a different lifestyle … Helping our staff give back to the community is another way we can help them achieve well-being.”
The Terracon Legal Terralympics charity event takes place on Friday, 12 May, from 11 am to 4 pm, at Canberra Deakin Football Club, 3 Grose Street, Deakin. Click here for more information or to buy tickets in support of Roundabout Canberra.