Children’s Hospitals of Australia / Huggies Hugathon Benefits Sick Kids & Breaks World Record


Are you a fast enough hugger to beat the world record?

On May 6, a crowd of nearly 90 moms and hospital workers joined together in Sydney, Australia, for a "Hugathon" to help raise awareness for Hugs for Healing, an initiative geared toward funding critical medical equipment for sick babies and toddlers. The group also managed to break the 2013 Guinness Book of World Record for the most hugs ever given in one minute. Their 77 hugs beat last year's record (set by the Brits) by two hugs.

The Hugathon, which was organized through a partnership between Children’s Hospitals of Australia and Huggieshelped Children’s Hospitals of Australia reach their fundraising goal of $100,000, a figure Huggies will match. The five Australian children's hospitals under the Children's Hospital organization provide 1.65 million treatments for sick and injured children yearly.

Nearly 90 people arrived early in the morning to prep for the event. To warm up the crowd, there were three practice runs. In order to beat the record, the group had to hit a target of nearly two hugs per second and keep up the momentum, which wasn't easy, according to Fiona Sutton, National Director of Children's Hospitals. The first round only yielded 60 hugs a minute but the pace increased with practice, eventually beating out the 75 hugs given in a minute set last year in London by beloved storybook character Paddington Bear. Australian TV personality Carrie Bickmore doled out her share of hugs too.

While hugging is a definitely a feel-good activity, Sutton says the pace was exhausting. "I felt as if she’d just finished a hard workout at the gym," she explains. "I’ve never had that many hugs in one day, let alone in the space of 10 minutes.”

Maybe there’s a market for hugging workout videos?

For more information on how you can help or donate, visit Hugs for Healing initiative site.