New date for Relay for Life

by Mike Isle

This year’s Selwyn Relay for Life in support of the Cancer Society has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 6 following its postponement because of the mosque attacks in Christchurch.

The society’s community engagement manager Emily Murdoch said the relay would also be reduced from its usual 12 hours to six hours. It begins at 2pm at Rolleston’s Brookside Park. Murdoch said Relay for Life is celebrated each year in a number of New Zealand communities. It aims to celebrate cancer survivors and carers; remember loved ones lost to cancer, and fight back by raising awareness and funds to support the work of the Cancer Society.

“The relay involves teams of people who walk or run around a track. In a relay style, each team needs to have at least one participant on the track throughout the event.

Murdoch said the society encourage teams of 10 to make walking for six hours a little easier, though teams can be larger or smaller.

“Alternatively, people can join us on the day to walk a few laps, jump on the bouncy castle, get their face painted and support the teams as they walk and fundraise through stalls at their site. The day will be full of entertainment from local bands to a tug of war and even a Zumba class,” Murdoch said. “A particularly special part of this year’s relay is that it’s the first event with our new Selwyn Centre opened. For many years we have been trying to achieve this and have been promising those at the relay that we will achieve it. We have finally reached this goal, and it has been made especially possible through the contributions of events like Relay For Life.

“Continued support from the Selwyn community through events like Relay For Life will enable us to keep the centre open and cover the ongoing costs.”

Murdoch said that so far this year and despite the original postponement the Rolleston leg of the event has raised slightly more than $44,000 for the Cancer Society — well on track to beat last year’s total of $45,000.

She said the society was hoping for $60,000, though the number of participants may be less this year because of the postponement.

Teams can still register for the event at relayforlife.org.nz or contact the Cancer Society on 03 379 5835.