They make look unusual — even funny — but the amateur athletes who will take part in Kāpiti’s first ‘Relay for Life’ have a serious mission.
On March 9 and 10, the unusual-looking volunteers will celebrate’ the courage of cancer survivors, remember dead loved ones, and aid the fight back against cancer in the event at the Athletics Ground in the Paraparaumu Domain .
The Domain will take on the bizarre appearance of a Tent City from 4pm on the Saturday to 9 am on Sunday the 10th. It’ll be populated by lots of people – some of them distinctly un-sporty, often dressed in distinctly unathletic looking, clothes!
The 2013 Kapiti Relay For Life is an overnight event in which teams each keep a baton moving around the track for 17 hours.
It’s the first year that Kapiti has hosted the Relay. which has been steadily gaining popularity globally and — in the last few years — in New Zealand.
The Cancer Society says: “Nearly all of us are, or have been, touched by cancer at some time, and this is a chance to do something to help.”
“One of the Kapiti teams, “Polished,” comprises mainly cancer survivors and their carers. Another team, “Terry’s Totties,” is taking part in memory of a much-missed husband, father, grandfather and friend. Thirty five other teams will have similar stories.
“Hopefully, the seriousness behind the existence of the Relay will be more than counterbalanced by the fun that all hope to have.
“A very important part of the event is to raise funds for the Cancer Society,” the society says,” but it also gives survivors, a chance to participate in a group event and do something positive: Wearing red sashes, they will be an inspiration to all. Just walking a few laps of the track will be for some an amazing achievement”
Many teams, consisting of both survivors and supporters will wear fancy dress appropriate to the name of their team (although it is not expected that they try to emulate the crowd at the recent Rugby Sevens) and those fit enough to do so, will camp overnight with plenty of camaraderie and coffee to keep themselves awake.
It is hoped that a good crowd, not directly involved with the Cancer Society, will just come along, donate cash and take part by walking the track to show support.
As dusk falls there will be a candlelight ceremony. Paper bags with candles inside, individually decorated in memory of lost loved one, will be placed around the track. (Bags can also be bought on the day for $5)
More information is on to the website – www.relayforlife.org.nz and following the links for ‘Kapiti’. Team registrations have closed but all are welcome to come along and just join in on the day