Toowoomba woman Elka Barnard is one of dozens of people in Toowoomba supporting veterans by doing 22 push-ups.

Photo Contributed
Toowoomba woman Elka Barnard is one of dozens of people in Toowoomba supporting veterans by doing 22 push-ups. Photo Contributed Contributed

Why this woman is doing the 22 push-up challenge

SOLDIERS put their lives on the line fighting for our country but when they come home, some are dealing with life-changing problems.

According to the Australian Defence Force, about 65% of veterans report at least one traumatic event in their lives and some develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Toowoomba woman Elka Barnard wants to change the statistics.

She's part of a viral trend sweeping Toowoomba, the push-up challenge.

Her brother-in-law just joined the ADF and she wants to do everything she can to help him and his brothers-in-arms.

"It's something that's close to my heart. It's very sad, they go away and they deal with a lot of stuff - and when they come back they're not the same."

Originally from England, she also has family in the English police force.

The challenge is simple: Complete 22 push-ups a day for 22 days to raise awareness to help combat veterans.

Once you nominate you have to record yourself doing the push-ups and try your best to reach 22.

Ms Barnard, who is a personal trainer, said completing the push-ups was no easy task.

Other Toowoomba residents have taken up the challenge including boxing coach Michael Betros, Chris John, Hayden Whip, Tristan Smith, Tony Gooderham and the entire Toowoomba PCYC gymnastics team.

The project started in the United States and is based on the sad statistics that 22 US veterans take their own lives every day.

Current data suggest that less that two per cent of Australian soldiers developed PTSD after operational deployments. Ms Barnard said she nominated the whole of Toowoomba for the challenge.



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