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19 June, 2022


THEY MAY be “just lads” but a group of eight boys from Peace Lutheran College have gained an impressive level of support in the national Push Up Challenge.

By Maria Larkins

“Just Lads Doing Pushups”. From left (back): Aiden McMullen, Eddie Jacklyn, Caleb Simkins; (centre): Ben McDonald, Kaelin Nelson, Caleb Maas, Joshua-Luca Moore; (front) Riley Boyd.

“Just Lads Doing Pushups” have had to reset both their push-up and fundraising targets due to public support for their efforts. 

At first the boys set a pushup target of 3,139 and they have already exceeded 4,740. Their initial fundraising goal was a modest $500 but this was “smashed” in just two days. So, they raised it to $1,000 and have more than tripled that amount in a week raising more than $3,705. 

They boys are in their final year at school and understand how important a “healthy headspace” is. 

“We’d heard about the Push up challenge through school and other friends. This year we decided to form a team and take on the challenge. We are a team of 8 Year 12 lads from Peace Lutheran College and we all have different reasons for taking on the Push-Up Challenge,” the boys said. 

“We wanted to raise awareness of the impact of mental health for high school students like ourselves. Whether it is a moment of anxiety before a test, feelings of inadequacy or everyday mental health struggles. We all know someone who has walked a challenging journey with their Mental Health. Some of us have personally experienced struggles and as young men, we want to be a voice that encourages other young people to reach out and seek help,” they said. 

The boys said high school students, and typically male students, were reticent about speaking up about their struggles. Some fear it is a sign of weakness, of being “less of a man”. 

The team have been mates all through High School and include “Sport’s Day Age Champions” and “TCN representatives”, as well as academics and typically non-athletic guys. They wanted other young people to know that anyone could be struggling with mental illness, regardless of how well they presented. 

The national Push Up Challenge is an annual event which raises funds and awareness of mental health issues and suicide prevention. 

Funds raised go to developing new programs and initiatives to address gaps in mental health promotion and the provision of services. 

The Push Up Challenge is held over 24 days in June and is open to individuals, teams or groups and communities. 

To support “Just Lads Doing Pushups” or find out more visit the website:

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