One of the biggest global public health challenges in history is dementia.
Wipeout Dementia is a one day Surf Off contest or a gruelling 4 week strength for surfing course ending in a 'Surf Off' tournament. This campaign kicked off with a first event in May 2015 in which the then Prime Minister Tony Abbott participated. The campaign ran again in November 2015 with NSW Premier Mike Baird and also in May 2016. The inaugural property industry Wipeout Dementia ran at Bondi Beach in November 2016 and our next event is set for Queenscliff throughout May.
This fundraising campaign supports The Dementia Momentum, a Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) initiative which seeks to bring researchers and the community together to change the future of dementia incidence. Spokesman for The Dementia Momentum, Richard Grellman AM, who is also Ambassador for Wipeout Dementia, leads the team Grellman's Evergreens which competes against the team led by Robert Gillespie; named Gillespie's Grommets Forever and Cunningham's Crusiers which is led by Managing Director, John Cunningham. Richard's wife Suellen has advanced young onset Alzheimer's disease and has been in Residential Care since early 2014.
Wipeout Dementia Ambassador and former World Surfing Champion Wayne Rabbit Bartholomew AM encourages everyone to get on board this initiative by either joining as a participant or sponsoring those people completing this challenging program.
This is a fantastic initiative to drive much needed funds to dementia research. With cardiovascular health in mid-life a key factor in brain health in late life it’s great to see this group taking on a challenging physical endeavour to support Richard’s role with CHeBA.
Wayne Rabbit Bartholomew AM, Ambassador
Richard Grellman has for the last 15 years been a mentor figure in my life. As Chairman of ASP International, Richard was a great assist, in fact instrumental, in the implementation of the "Dream Tour" concept, ushering in a new era of governance that set Professional Surfing on its ascendancy. Moreover, Richard and Suellen became close personal friends, our social and professional lives interacting on many levels, and I have witnessed the challenges, heartbreak, despair and resignation that the Grellman's journey has taken them on. I feel privileged to be alongside the great man once again," said Rabbit.
The popular image of a bronzed, outdoors-loving and sports mad Aussie belies the fact that Australians are one of the most physically inactive people internationally. There is incontrovertible evidence that physical inactivity increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, diabetes and depression. All of these are risk factors for dementia. A recent analysis showed that physically inactive individuals had an 80% increased risk of dementia.
By contrast, physical exercise has positive and protective effects on brain function, not only reducing risk factors but increasing neuroplasticity.
The brain abnormalities that lead to dementia are known to start at least 20-30 years before the disease becomes manifest, suggesting that behaviours in young and mid adulthood will have a significant impact on brain health in old age.
Co-Directors of the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, Professors Perminder Sachdev and Henry Brodaty, say one of the most effective strategies we can adopt to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia later in life is to become physically active from an early age, and remain active throughout our lives.
The SMART trial conducted by our collaborators showed that physical exercise reduced the rate of decline in cognitive function in those with mild memory problems.
The message for all Australians is: get active. CHeBA researchers recommend individuals to exercise at a moderate intensity for at least 30-40 minutes every day, including a degree of vigorous exercise. Participants in Wipeout Dementia are perfect examples of the benefits that accrue from physical exercise.
Each Wipeout Dementia event has a goal of raising $100,000 for the cause. The next Wipeout Dementia will be held in November 2016 at Bondi Beach and then during May 2017 at Queenscliff. For more information about the event or to participate please contact email@example.com.
For more information on The Dementia Momentum see: www.thedementiamomentum.org
To become a sponsor of Wipeout Dementia contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
David R Smith
Image credit: WAYNE " RABBIT " BARTHOLEMEW, PIPELINE '76 - Jeff Divine Photography.
Mr Richard Grellman AM
Chairman, Genworth Mortgage Insurance Ltd, IPH Ltd & AMP Foundation
Richard's wife has advanced young onset Alzheimer's disease