Tony Cox runs for teachers' health

Tony Cox (left) and Ben Wilson last week completed a run from Canberra to Moruya, coming through our district, in two days. Photo supplied

Tony Cox (left) and Ben Wilson last week completed a run from Canberra to Moruya, coming through our district, in two days. Photo supplied

It was the fulfillment of a childhood dream, according to Canberra-based teacher and health coach Tony Cox. 

"A seed sown when I was a kid and I saw blokes like Cliff Young running incredible distances. I thought it would be great to be able to do that."

Last week Cox, accompanied by a mate, Ben Wilson, completed a run from Canberra to Moruya, coming through our district, in two days to shine a positive light on the importance of health and well-being in the teaching profession.

Cox is a teacher and also a qualified health coach. In the latter role, he focuses on the health and well-being of teachers, which, he says, he has seen suffer over the course of his 20-year teaching career.

"In some parts of the state 40 to 50 percent of beginning teachers don't last five years in the profession," he said. 

Cox believes that for teachers to maintain their performance, they need to look after their own health. As a health coach for teachers, he assists members of the profession to adopt sustainable healthy habits and maximise their well-being.

"This enhances student outcomes and the engagement of teachers with their profession."

Cox says he is in a unique position of having been a deputy principal and a classroom teaching and also a coach. This means he's seen the profession from the inside-out and the outside-in and he's committed to ensuring that teachers have the skills and information to maintain a healthy lifestyle that leads to a healthy career.

The idea for the run from Canberra to Moruya, born of his childhood ambition, was to highlight his foundation belief that with a healthy approach to life, teachers can achieve everything they want.

Running from the capital to the coast is no mean feat, however, and Cox says that while the going was hard, running into Majors Creek on Friday evening was fantastic. 

"All the locals were there on the verandah of the pub clapping and cheering us on," he said. "Same when we got to Araluen. The community support was great."

The message from the run is, in Cox's own words, "to keep on keeping on."