Every Monday morning a gaggle of blokes - accompanied by a couple of puppies - meet for a chat and a stroll followed by a barbecue breakfast chaser in Tuncurry's John Wright Park.
But, this troupe is more than a couple of fellas taking a leisurely stroll in all types of weather, it is an informal support group which provides social connection for blokes, who walk and talk in a regular and healthy way.
The Man Walk was introduced to the Great Lakes by Tuncurry Beach Bowling club general manager, Terry Green 12 months ago after recognising a there was a genuine need for such a group in the region.
"We saw a need for men's mental health and wellbeing," Mr Green said.
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He said the group had grown from eight regular walkers to more than 30 men, expediently since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the past 12 months or 40 weeks - 12 of which were in lockdown - the average kilometres walked was three or 5000 steps, or as a group an impressive six million steps or 1200 kilometres.
"It gives men the ability to talk and chat, and not necessarily about their mental health but about anything there is to make them feel good.
"Actually, they rarely talk about their mental health and everyone is welcome."
It gives men the ability to talk and chat, and not necessarily about their mental health but about anything there is to make them feel good.Terry Green
The Man Walk was established by a South Coast physiotherapist more than two years ago who began walking each weekday morning around Kiama Harbour.
Soon a few friends began to join him, then complete strangers, and The Man Walk was borne.
Since that time the group has grown to 60 nation-wide, and countries beyond Australia's borders.
Founder Mark Burns said walkers were not psychologists and were not there to give advice.
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"We're there to listen and share stories," he said.
"And it's obviously filling a gap for men who want a bit of activity, a bit of communication - to talk about what's making them happy, or sad."
Less Ball from Tuncurry has been with the group since the beginning.
"I've found this to be a great way for mateship to develop and to interact with other walkers who may just need a friend or a chat or just fresh air with a mate." Les said.
The group, which meets every Monday at the barbeque area in John Wright Park, is supported by Tuncurry Beach Bowling Club and No Bull Butchery, Forster.
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