Topic: The world’s toughest endurance event.
Damien’s Impact through PACA, Athleticism, and Global Work
Damien Rider is the founder of PACA (Paddle Against Child Abuse), established September 2014. To raise awareness, PACA holds global events, and with the use of paddle sports, they hope to help victims find peace. Damien was the event manager of PACA Paddle Fast 2014—a two-day festival combining ocean paddle sports. He has donated surfboards and surf supplies to Act For Kids, Gold Coast.
Damien has broken three world records in the Solo Paddle of 800km from Gold Coast to Bondi. He was named Men’s Health Magazine Man of 2015. That same year his documentary Heart of the Sea was released. Damien participated in the Accord Hotels Mini Marathon Phuket. He created the first ever National Child Abuse Awareness Week for Thailand, and he endured the Paddle Solo on a Stand Up Paddleboard for four days around Phuket Island.
He was later invited to the first Australian Survival Run, and became a Finalist for the World Paddle Awards for global work of PACA, the organization donated 40 school bags and supplies to orphan kids, plus sporting goods to Phuket School. In December 2015, he participated in the Night Marathon Phuket Town.
PACA World Paddle Day, January 3, 2016—Damien set a challenge of 430km in three days, three laps of Phuket Island, Prone Paddleboard, SUP, and run. In the same year, PACA upgraded the sporting court for the Rawai, Thailand school. June 27, 2016, Damien started his skateboard trek across the USA along Route 66, starting in Chicago ending in Santa Monica. 4000km in 56 days.
A year later, he created the first Child Abuse Awareness Week for Australia. On January 3, 2017, the PACA event Pedaled a 1950s Rickshaw bike 260km, pushed a 3 tonne Ute 28 km, paddle boarded 11km. He launched Oceans Retreat, a fitness wellness spa and beachfront retreat. Damien ran the Gold Coast Marathon of 42km with a 16kg mairess with the message: NEVER LAY DOWN OR GIVE UP, KEEP MOVING FORWARD.
On October 15, 2017, he ran the Melbourne Marathon with a 10kg, live stream camera rig that hit an audience of 400,000.
In 2018, he was the Commonwealth Games final baton barer in the opening ceremony, which broadcast to 1.9 billion viewers across the globe. He is the executive producer of his documentary, Rise Above, a story of my 12 world records and humanitarian achievements. It was released on National Geographic. He also celebrated his book, One Breath Meditation with an official launch.
June 2019, PACA held an event in Bali, helping combat child sex trafficking. There was also a “One Breath Tour” speaking tour from the East Coast of the US to West Coast. He talked to and about the following subjects: to youth at detention centers, feeding the homeless, contact with Child Abuse services, working with the Wounded Warrior Project about programs for war vets, youth services, LGBTQ groups and suicide prevention groups.
On May 12, 2019, he was a Red Bull competitor in the 400m ski jump race in Ironwood, Michigan. He later became the Resident Brand Ambassador for Thanyapura Phuket. Asia’s number one sport complex. He has been a recent speaker at Ted Talk in Asia.