October 25, 2021|Community Fitness

An Update on the e15 COVID RIP Robben Island Program

The Program

The e15 COVID RIP program is designed to help participants to enhance their physical and mental wellbeing. People are brought together to complete goals set up by the program organisers. The program is open for anyone of any fitness level to step aboard and push themselves beyond what they usually would alone. Email the program coordinator, Brett Thiedeman at bthideman@atticushealth.com.au to join.

Some of the set goals included walking/running a set distance of 50kms a month on Strava, reading one book/audiobook a fortnight and getting fully vaccinated. A volutary bookclub has been set up per fortnight on Zoom for participants to come together and discuss the audiobook as well as progress that has been made.

The Progress So Far

Fast forwarding to what is now the program’s eighth week and it has proven to be a success. Goals have been set and achieved but just as importantly, we have provided a platform for people to connect during lockdown and beyond. We have collectively read and discussed four books about personal wellbeing and inspiration. They are:

  • Good Vibes, Good Life – Vex King
  • The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
  • Mom & Me & Mom – Maya Angelou
  • The Happiest Refugee – Anh Do
  • Burning Bridges and Other Hobbies – Kitty Flanagan

You can access a wide selection of ebooks and audiobooks for free from the City of Melbourne Library online. Learn how to access books online through their website here.

The leaderboard for the walking/running challenge on Strava is impressive and we are proud of all who have participated. Keep moving to smash those goals (especially you James, move those legs).


Origin of the name: Robben Island

Robben Island is where Nelson Mandela was unjustly locked up for 18 years. It’s an island off the coast, north of Cape Town in South Africa. Previously, it operated as a prison, nowadays it remains as a museum. In total, Nelson Mandela spent 27 years wrongfully locked down, in prison, under the apartheid regimen. We use the name of this program to remind ourselves that despite the present times, including lockdowns in Australia, we still live in a truly free country where we enjoy certain liberties that others could only dream of, including a democratically elected government. Whether you were born here or immigrated, it remains all our good luck to still call Australia home. We will emerge from our present restrictions and once again be free. A baby born today in some places of the world, will likely never emerge. Nelson Mandela was lucky to emerge after 27 years in total of being imprisoned.  Despite tough times behind us and ahead, let’s remain grateful. It can be easier to be grateful when you can relatively compare your life to that of someone else. Let Robben Island be that for you.

The Final Event

The program will end at 7am Saturday, 18 December 2021 (AEST) with a final event. We run/walk whatever – together.

Regarding the event on Saturday 18 December, we encourage participants to push themselves in setting your own personal target. It is yours to conquer and ours together to celebrate, as a group.

Please email the program coordinator, Brett Thiedeman (bthideman@atticushealth.com.au) if you’d like to join the club.

Enjoy this video we made at the beginning of the program, outlying the rules and motivating people to move.

Dr Floyd Gomes, Brett Thiedeman, James Wagner and the COVID RIP team.

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