The Kite for Depression & Anxiety

Valeria Rye, Neuroscience PHD candidate, new mother and the better half of Victorian vice State Champ Dan Sweeney has come up with a great concept to use the sport of kiteboarding for the greater good. We can all get stuck chasing our selfish pursuit of that perfect wave, massive air, latest trick but kiteboarding as a connector and great spectacle can be used for higher purposes like The Kite for Depression & Anxiety. If you’re in Melbourne get down to St Kilda West beach tomorrow (12th March), if you aren’t but want to support the event and Beyond Blue please contact Valeria and she will be able to show you how.

dan sweeney and valeria rye

The couple with a cause, Dan and Valeria using the sport for greater good. Pic Wolcott.

Freedom caught up with her during last minute preparations to find out a bit more about the event and what to expect:

FKM: What’s the purpose of the event?
To raise awareness about depression and anxiety and present the fact that it is a current, past and future issue of many among us. Also, to kite with a purpose, I’ve seen enough self-praise in the kite world lately. To spend a fun day at the beach watching a kite fun-race.

FKM: How did it come about?
It came about as a project for a self-expression and leadership project at Landmark Education. And combining my passion with a purpose I’ve been working on for the past few years while completing my PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne.

FKM: What can attendees expect?
Attendees can expect a unique event – as I said, fun at the beach, some music, some awesome people and vibe, feeling great and purposeful and sport some Beyond Blue Australia Wristbands 🙂

FKM: Can noncompetitive kiters get involved?
OF COURSE!!! This is the whole point – non-competitiveness, just fun fun fun!

FKM: How’s the forecast looking?
So far so good – we always have SUPs to muck around on!

FKM: Do you foresee an ongoing event or a one off?
I’d like to see it grow every year.

FKM: Who would you like to thank for supporting?
Too many people. Nicole Criddle, Dan Sweeney, Rick Elliott, Alexandra Lockie (Kiteboarding Australia), Amanda Judd (Parks Victoria), Jane Lyon (City of Port Phillip), Vivianne London from Montreal who did the website for free. And of course all the participants and people who are donating – you are an amazing inspiring bunch!!

Check out the event page HERE or the website HERE.