The “gravity” of what he is about to is sinking in for Dubbo MP Troy Grant.
The NSW Police Minister – and former police officer – is taking part in NSW Police Legacy’s 2018 Kokoda Trek, and he leaves on Saturday.
He has been training for months, but Mr Grant is still “apprehensive” about the gruelling, 96-kilometre challenge ahead.
“I saw a documentary last night on Kokoda and it gave me a wonderful insight as to the difficulty of the track and the steepness and the muddiness… it’s hard to train for,” Mr Grant said.
“I’m a bit nervous, a bit apprehensive but sort of excited at the same time, to just get in amongst it.
“Once I start I think, I’ve got nothing else to focus on, I’ve got no phone, no emails, no distractions, all I’ve got to focus on is one step after the other.”
In addition to paying his own way, Mr Grant has also raised $36,000 for Police Legacy; enough to fund about eight legatees – the children of deceased NSW Police Force officers – to take part in the trek.
Read more: Kokoda Trek for cause close to Troy’s heart
And after promising fellow government ministers he would keep his summer beard until the trek, Mr Grant is expecting more funds to flow in before his departure.
“It’s been a little bit difficult in the last couple of months,” he said of his training.
“I’ve had a lot of parliament, a lot of interstate work and a lot of time in planes – I’ve had seven or eight flights in a week – so being in different places has had a bit of an impact.
“A big thanks to everyone that’s supported me. Lots of encouragement, lots of sledging and tormenting as well which has been fun along the way.
“I’m really excited … I feel very lucky to have the opportunity, and very privileged to be going with some great people and particularly the police legatees. It will be a special occasion that I don’t think any of us will ever forget. It’s really the chance of a lifetime.”
Visit www.2018kokodatrek.gofundraise.com.au for more information.