It is with great sadness that we inform you that the 2020 Kokoda Challenges in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Melbourne are all cancelled.
To say that we are devastated would be a gross understatement; the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a far greater impact on Australia and the world than we think anyone could have ever imagined.
Our hearts are broken that we cannot proceed with the Kokoda Challenges or the Kokoda Challenge Youth Programs as we know how much it means to our wider Kokoda community but unfortunately, we simply have no choice.
We have compiled a list of FAQ’s and you can read the official statement from our Chairman below but we ask that you please be patient with us as we work through this difficult time.
We can’t express enough how upset we are to have made this call, so let’s please all do our part now in getting rid of this awful virus by staying clean, staying distant but always staying a COMMUNITY; Courage, Endurance, Mateship, Sacrifice.
1. Which events have been cancelled?
Kokoda Challenge Brisbane scheduled for 5-6th July, 2020 The Kokoda Challenge Gold Coast scheduled for 18-19th July, 2020 Kokoda Challenge Melbourne scheduled for 22nd August, 2020
2. Why have they been cancelled?
The Kokoda Youth Foundation’s Board of Directors made the decision in accordance with Australian Government’s direction to ban mass outdoor gatherings over 500 people. The decision supports the Government’s strategies to slow the spread of Covid-19 in Australia, which is expected to reach it’s peak in Australia in winter. While the decision to cancel is disappointing (and heartbreaking for the KYF), the health, safety and wellbeing of participants, volunteers and staff is the Kokoda Youth Foundation’s first priority.
3. Why didn’t you just postpone the events until later this year?
Strong consideration was given to rescheduling the events for later in 2020. This would see them taking place in October - November, which present health and safety risks with regards to heat exhaustion for participants and possible fire threats. Furthermore, the advice that is now forthcoming about the longevity of Government bans and the long range impact the Covid-19 pandemic will have – it is highly probable that the events might not be able to take place later in the year and unfortunately, that is a financial risk the KYF cannot afford to invest in for the next 6 months.
4. What happens to my registration fee and the money I have raised?
All registered teams will have two options.
OPTION 1: Full refund of the registration amount and team cancelled. The team registration fee will be refunded to the credit card that made the initial payment. Due to the number of participants please be advised that it may be a few weeks before your refund is processed and back on your card. Unfortunately, as all donations are made to the Kokoda Youth Foundation Public Fund we are unable to refund donations (please see option 2 as a way to keep your donations attached to your team). Although we are unable to refund donations, please know that these funds will be used solely to run the 2021 KCYP and help to change the lives of local Australian teens.
OPTION 2: Transfer full registration amount and team fundraising to the 2021 event. Your full team, and your donations will be transferred to the corresponding 2021 event. This means that you can continue to train and fundraise the whole way through to 2021. In the coming weeks we will work to create the 2021 events online, please be advised that it may take a month before the event is changed (we need to lock in dates, permits, etc) but after that is will be business as usual and you can continue fund raise towards your team and swap team members up until the close of the 2021 registrations. Look at this option as the long term postponement.
5. What if someone who has donated asks for their donation back?
The funds raised by teams are donations and are fully tax deductible for the donor. As they have been issued with a tax invoice for donation purposes, they are unable to be refunded. Please be assured that all donations will be kept in the Kokoda Youth Foundation Public Fund for the operation for the 2021 youth programs.
6. Will the event be running in 2021?
The tough and swift decision to cancel the 2020 schedule of events was made to give our charity the best chance of surviving the Covid-19 pandemic and still be able to operate in 2021. Yes, we will be back in 2021 with the full schedule of Kokoda Challenge events and the Kokoda Youth Foundation will remain open (albeit in a reduced capacity) throughout the remainder of the year.
7. Will Kokoda Challenge Youth Program still be running?
The Kokoda Challenge Youth Program (KCYP) will not be operating in 2020. This is to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our Kokoda kids and their families. Unfortunately, the travel restrictions and the social distancing policy severely affects the way the KCYP operates and jeopardises the benefits and objectives of the program for the participants. Furthermore, the KCYP can not be funded without the funds raised in the Kokoda Challenge Events. The KCYP will return in 2021 ready to make a difference in many young people lives.
8. How can I still support the Kokoda Youth Foundation?
Our first option would be for you to transfer your team registration to the 2021 event. This significantly helps with planning and operations. But there are plenty of other ways we could use your support this year and into the 2021 season – volunteers will be more important than ever, so please get in touch if you could spare some of your time. All donations to the Kokoda Youth Foundation are tax deductible and go towards the operation of our youth programs, if you are able to extend financial support it is always appreciated.