“Unless we keep making it more interesting and creative, it won’t be long before people stop helping,” a business owner has warned as he embarks on a world record attempt to raise funds for bushfire victims.
Ethan Fleming, the founder and CEO of Get Going Personal Training which began trading mid-2014, has set himself a gruelling physical challenge to keep donations flowing in for people affected by this summer’s devastating bushfires: to break the Guinness World Record for the most chest-to-ground burpees in one hour.
(A burpee — distinct from burps — is an exercise motion, in which someone goes from standing vertical to a push-up and back to vertical in one fluid move.)
Spurred into action after his business partner’s mother lost both her home and her livelihood in the fires that engulfed Victoria’s north-east over the New Year period, Mr Fleming will attempt to beat the current record which, according to Guinness World Records, was set by fellow Australian Macauley Jones back in 1994 who completed a staggering 870 burpees within 60 minutes. He is aiming to complete 900 of the moves within a single hour.
The challenge, to take place in Clayton South this Sunday (19 January 2020), is aimed at raising funds for the fire-devastated community of Mallacoota in Victoria, which sustained heavy damage as residents were forced to huddle on the beach under pitch-black skies to escape the flames.
Mr Fleming has urged others in business to get creative with their fundraising efforts, in a bid to keep donations flowing long after the immediate dangers subside, with every little bit adding up.
“Unless we keep making it more interesting and creative, it won’t be long before people stop helping — some are already becoming desensitised to the issue at hand,” he said.
“Extreme situations call for extreme responses. I hope that our world record attempt encourages others to do their part... something small still makes a big difference.”
It is not the first time Mr Fleming has attempted to break new ground; in 2018, he missed out on the record for the most burpees completed within 24 hours, after completing 11,000 of the moves — although this was well short of the record of 24,000 he had been aiming for.
The personal trainer said he has been in training for this latest attempt for the past three months, and was originally aiming to support a mental health charity, but was inspired to donate to the bushfire relief efforts instead after hearing the tales of loss first-hand.
Mr Fleming has set up a gofundme page with a goal of raising $3,000, which has said would be donated to community relief efforts in Mallacoota. As of 4.20pm on Wednesday (15 January), the page had raised $1,280.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.