Canadian athlete Phil Shaw is roller-skiing from Sydney to Cairns to promote healthier lifestyles.
Canadian athlete Phil Shaw is roller-skiing from Sydney to Cairns to promote healthier lifestyles. Liana Walker

Why this man has roller-skied from Canada to Gladstone

CANADIAN athlete Phil Shaw is roller-skiing from Sydney to Cairns to spread a health message.

The cross country skier travelled through Gladstone on Monday where he handed out his card with the simple message "Smoke less, exercise more and eat sensibly".

"I roller-skied Canada and it was a successful tour, so I said 'why not Australia?'" Mr Shaw said.

"I was thinking of just going up to Cairns, but I'd like to go around Australia."

Originally from Quebec, Mr Shaw has travelled up Australia's eastern coastline and will be headed to Rockhampton next. He expects he'll reach Cairns within the next two weeks, and by that time would have travelled around 2600km.

Not only does he want to promote healthier lifestyles to Australians, he wants to extend that message to the environment.

"It means don't smoke but pollute less also, because we're all ingesting that bad air," Mr Shaw said.

"Canada is a bit like Australia in that it's an industrial nation with a lot of raw resources.

"We're transforming raw resources into finished products or semi-finished products. But it's a lot of pollution in the process, we have to try and be careful with that."

 

Mr Shaw also hoped to teach Australians about roller-skiing.

"People in Australia think you need snow, but you don't need snow to ski," he said.

"It's a summer sport, but it's for practising winter skiing, alpine or cross country."

Although Mr Shaw hasn't committed yet, he hopes to keep roller-skiing around the coastline and head to Darwin after Cairns.

Liana Walker

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