NRL legend Royce Simmons is hitting the road again for Royce’s Big Walk, with plans to walk more than 300 kilometres from Dubbo to Bathurst, and is seeking new sponsors to help him raise much-needed funds for dementia research.
Kicking off on Tuesday 18 April, Simmons will be joined by an array of high-profile walking companions during his challenging 12-day journey across Central West NSW.
The 62-year-old was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2021, inspiring the inaugural Royce’s Big Walk event, which last year raised over $1 million to support the work of Dementia Australia.
Former Test and Origin forward Simmons is already in training for this year’s 313-kilometre walk and is calling on new corporate partners to be part of the journey.
“Through my own diagnosis I came to learn the statistics around dementia, and they’re genuinely shocking,” Simmons said.
“It’s a disease that affects almost every family in every community around the country.
“The walk gives us an opportunity to start important conversations and spread awareness, while also raising funds that will make a meaningful difference.”
Dementia is the leading cause of death for Australian women and the second leading cause of death for all Australians.
It’s estimated there are currently up to 400,000 Australians living with the disease and another 1.5 million people involved in their care.
“On last year’s walk I met and spoke to so many people who had been dealing with dementia in some way and they were very emotional conversations,” Simmons said.
“I also saw how willing people were to put their hand in their pocket to help fight this disease.
“The job isn’t done so that’s why we’re heading back out again, and looking for new corporate partners to join us in 2023.”
Along with raising funds for dementia research, during each leg of Royce’s Big Walk, Simmons and his walking companions will attend functions in support of local junior rugby league clubs.
The walk will conclude at Carrington Park in Bathurst on Saturday 29 April, as the Panthers and Wests Tigers NRL sides do battle for the Royce Simmons Cup.
For more information on Royce’s Big Walk and the sponsorship opportunities available, visit roycesbigwalk.com.au.