The Charity Event that Builds Better Men

On Thursday 15th October, Gold Coast businesses rallied together in a charity event to support the Men of Business Academy by rowing for 24 hours across the canals of Isle of Capri. Their mission? To build better men. 

Men of Business Academy (MOB) is an independent secondary school designed to empower young men who have fallen through the cracks of the traditional schooling system. Marco Renai founded MOB ten years ago and has dedicated his life to helping as many boys as he can to succeed in life after school.   

Providing skills, knowledge and confidence, the school is transforming adolescent boys into happy, healthy and successful men who flourish in life beyond school. Backed by a team of qualified teachers, personal trainers, psychologists, nurses and mentors, the academy bases its philosophy for education on establishing positive and respectful relationships between adults and students.  

In 2019, MOB Founder, Marco Renai, alongside his two friends, took to the Gold Coast rivers in canoes and paddled for an uninterrupted 24 hours to raise money for the MOB Academy.  

This year, following their success, they bravely took to the waters a second time to encourage the students and raise much-needed funds for their inspiring operation. This time, the public is invited to join.  

The 24-hr paddle will commenced on Thursday 15th October 2020 and came to a celebrated finale at midday on Friday 16th October, where MOB hosted a charity luncheon at Edgewater restaurant, Isle of Capri. The event raised money for their 95 enrolled students, as well as funded two new school buses. The new transport system will be an integral asset in providing MOB boys with important access to camps, activities and appointments.   

Such an event can only happen with the support of local businesses, like Navig8Biz. Nick Barnsdall, Founder of Navig8Biz, began volunteering his time to MOB earlier this year when he reached out to offer mentoring to the students.  

With the urge to give back to boys who mirrored his own past, Barnsdall knew he could show them that a better life was not an unattainable fairy tale, but a tangible, achievable goal. On a weekly basis, he illustrates how a growth mindset can change the trajectory of their lives. By way of goalsetting, planning and routines that Barnsdall uses every day to build his own 13 businesses, the boys have access to an entirely new way of learning; one that is oftentimes not afforded to many other schools and students.

Barnsdall says of the partnership, “I understood the challenges the boys were facing. Their position resonated with me greatly as my parents faced financial hardship when I was growing up. My childhood was dysfunctional, which led to my dad leaving home when I was ten. I struggled to conform at school and was regularly suspended which led to expulsion. 

“I now understand the importance of having mentors in your life. Modern society downplays the influence of positive role models on young men. Positive guidance can show them how to contribute to society in different and better ways which, in turn, provides them with a sense of purpose and fulfilment. Without good role models, young men can turn to dishonourable behaviours and nobody wins.” 

Nick Barnsdall, co-founded the transformative business education platform, Navig8Biz in 2018, to propel business owners from start-up to success. As the owner and director of 13 companies, he is impassioned about changing lives through business and is revolutionising the way entrepreneurs approach business. 

Pulling off an event like this is no easy feat. Neither is rowing a boat for 24 hours non-stop. Community support means everything to MOB as local businesses like Navig8Biz continue to band together to offer the financial, emotional and educational support that MOB and their Gold Coast boys need.  

If building better men and helping your local community resonate with you, you can support the cause by donating here.

To join the movement next year, contact MOB directly.   


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