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Karuna Crossfit Fundraising Row

Rowing for a cause: CrossFit Karuna’s 24-hour fundraising challenge for veteran wellbeing

In the heart of West Gosford, NSW, Australia, a team of four determined individuals from CrossFit Karuna kicked off the year with a challenge – rowing for 24 hours straight.   

Aswell as using this as a source of connection and fitness, the team decided to raise awareness and funds for a cause close to their hearts – veteran health and wellbeing. It was from here that they reached out to Veteran Engagement Manager Jye, kickstarting an incredible journey which will help Invictus Australia continue to support local veterans and their family members through sport.   

The Challenge  

Beginning at 6:10am on Tuesday the 2nd of January and finishing at 6:10am the day after, this marathon rowing session aimed to challenge the team and raise awareness about the power of physical activity on the mind. However, this was not enough for the team as, they also wanted to raise funds for an organisation making a positive impact on the lives of veterans – which caused them to turn to Invictus Australia’s Jye for help.   

Connecting with Invictus Australia  

This was not the first time we had heard from CrossFit Karuna, Jake and Jen Richards. The gym’s owners first connected with Jye during Veteran’s Health Week last year to assist and attend sporting events. A military veteran himself, Jake understands the transformative nature of sport especially when transitioning from service to civillian life.  

Because of the connection Jye and Jake had formed, Jake reached out on the 2nd of January, ready to donate time and dollars to a worthy cause, just as the challenge was kicking off. Jake was unaware that thanks to our new Fundraising Hub, he could use this challenge to support Invictus Australia.  

Once he found this out, he and Jenny jumped at the chance. Little did Jye know, but the team was six hours into their challenge already, so wanted to get fundraising as soon as possible.  Jye assisted Jen in navigating the online fundraising platform, which Invictus Australia launched in late 2023.  The entire process took less than 10 minutes.  

“One of our team members is a vet himself and knows firsthand the power physical exercise has on the benefits to mental wellbeing.” Crossfit Karuna member 

One of our team members is a vet himself and knows firsthand the power physical exercise has on the benefits to mental wellbeing.”


Invictus Australia’s new Hub  

Designed to inspire individuals and groups to support Invictus Australia in their own way, the fundraising hub offers a multitude of ideas to raise funds. Whether that be sweating it out like Crossfit Karuna, organising an event, giving up something you love or participating in e-sports, the possibilities of this new hub mean that those wanting to raise awareness and support the organisation can do so on their own terms.   

The inspiring story and incredible effort the CrossFit Karuna team have demonstrated puts them on our Fundraising wall of Champions, which is filled with stories of triumph and determination of individuals and teams who have vowed to support veteran wellbeing through an Invictus fundraiser. Revisit their stories below: 

Rodney Cottam: We could not talk about dedication to supporting Invictus Australia without reflecting on the incredible efforts of Rodney Cottam, who has completed two ultra-runs in support of Invictus Australia. An ex-paratrooper and paralysed in his left arm, Rodney knows too well the physical and mental effects of service and how sport and physical activity can help support a veteran’s recovery. In July last year, Rodney ran over 500km in 106 hours from Coffs Harbour to Sydney and has raised over $100,000 for Invictus Australia while completing gruelling challenges such as this one.  

Aberglasslyn Ants: The sense of camaraderie and community is common among our fundraising champions, like that of the Aberglasslyn Ants who raised funds to support veterans’ wellbeing through sport during their Charity Day. Invictus Australia was selected to be their chosen charity for last year’s day, with the team having solid links to the defence community with their coach Cameron Bright being a veteran himself. As well as raising awareness to a community with a Defence presence, the day raised over $5000 which helps support Invictus Australia’s work.  

The Invictus Australia team is energised and inspired by the stories of fundraisers like Crossfit Karuna, Rodney Cottam and Aberglasslyn Ants and are grateful for their support. Explore this new fundraising hub to learn more about our champions, gain inspiration and learn about how fundraising for Invictus Australia supports veterans and their families through sport across the country.   

An amazing result

While we were inspired by the grit and determination of the team, Invictus Australia is thankful for the amazing results. On 6:10am on January 3, Crossfit Karuna announced they rowed an astounding 361.75 km in just 24 hours and have raised over $1300 which will help support the Australian Defence community.   

We are so grateful for this incredible effort and are inspired by all involved, especially Jake – who was able to tap into personal experiences to give back to other veterans and their family members. Every meter rowed, every dollar raised and every ounce of encouragement and community awareness contributes to Invictus Australia’s goal of strengthening the lives of veterans and families through sport.  

Donate to this extraordinary fundraiser via Invictus Australia’s new fundraising hub. Feeling inspired? Join Champions like Crossfit Karuna, Rodney Cottam and the Aberglasslyn Ants by fundraising your way to raise awareness and support veterans and their families.  

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