Crowthers dig in for Ugandan charity

Great charity: Sutherland's Love Mercy staff Rebecca,Caitlin, CEO Caitlin Barrett and Eloise Wellings with Paul Crowther and (inset) Eloise on the athletics track. Pictures: John Veage
Great charity: Sutherland's Love Mercy staff Rebecca,Caitlin, CEO Caitlin Barrett and Eloise Wellings with Paul Crowther and (inset) Eloise on the athletics track. Pictures: John Veage

Cronulla's Eloise Wellings fulfilled her Olympic dream in London in 2012, and backed that up in Rio being the highest placing female Olympian in the 10,000m event, finishing 9th.

Training hard and waiting to achieve a qualifying time for Tokyo, Eloise's greatest legacy is her 'Love Mercy Foundation', a charity she founded in 2009 after meeting Ugandan Olympian and child soldier Julius Achon .

Moved by his story of triumph over adversity Eloise felt that her troubles with injury were put in perspective by Julius' life. The Love Mercy Foundation has impacted over 100,000 Ugandans through health and agriculture programs.

Local educational tourism business owner Paul Crowther and his family through Crowthers coaches and Unearth-Ed are the latest to help in Eloise's vision, buying a well in Uganda which is now operating and used by 500 people.

Paul said his company is proud to be able to contribute to a charity like Love Mercy for something we take for granted in Australia - clean drinking water.

Paul has never seen it tougher in his business. Tthe coach industry has been one of the hardest hit industries during the Pandemic and schools haven't travelled.

"The Well in Uganda illustrates that whilst people are doing it tough in the Shire, there are plenty of things to be thankful for like clean drinking water," he said

"Seeing how others cope just to live has made us more determined to keep working hard and being innovative to create new opportunities."

The Crowther's well is in a rural area in Northern Uganda and many of these communities haven't had access to clean water, with women and children having to walk 5-10 kms to access water.

Eloise said this can take hours, and often it isn't clean and shared with livestock.

"For young girls, spending time this way means they have less time for school. With access to clean water comes the empowerment to pursue more beyond traditional roles.

"The new Crowther's well works to break the cycle of poverty, benefiting generations to come." she said.

With the long layoff from international competition Eloise just needs a chance to try to make the team-she is already making the most of her opportunities.