Home‎ > ‎News & Events‎ > ‎

Relay for Life - Students Support Cancer Society

posted 15 Mar 2016, 21:32 by OC Web   [ updated 15 Mar 2016, 21:34 ]
On the 12th and 13th March, three teachers (Miss Grant, Mr Ward and Mr Leota) and 22 Rotary Interact students headed to Palmerston North to participate in the Relay for Life event held at Hokowhitu Campus.

Students have worked extremely hard over the past three weeks to raise money to go towards this cause. They have given up their time to volunteer at the Kite Festival, sought donations from local businesses after school, run bake sales and found their own time to ask people to sponsor them for this event. The students’ efforts saw them raise $2700 to donate to the Cancer Society. They can be very proud of their hard-work and dedication towards the cause. For those of you who are not aware, The Relay for Life is an event which runs for 24 hours. Teams must carry a baton around a 400 metre track for this 24 hour period. The idea behind this is that cancer never sleeps.

With the vans packed and 22 excited students we made our way to Palmerston North. Upon arrival we set up our 6x6m campsite for the night (a tent and gazebo) and then headed to the main stage for our initial briefing. The first lap to be completed was for survivors of cancer. Over 100 people lined up for this lap who were wearing a sash (denoting beating cancer) and walked the first lap while we all supported them on the side. This was a great way to start the event as it is the very reason that we were all a part of it - to fight together this unforgivable disease. Once this lap was completed, all teams got on the track and walked a lap together. There were 25 fairies prancing around the track at once (fairies being our theme).

To prevent exhaustion, we set up a roster of one hour shifts, in order to last the 24 hours carrying the baton. Students participated extremely well and ended up walking 290 laps which equated to 116km (the distance from Ōtaki to Wanganui). After ordering 19 pizzas for dinner, BBQs at 1am and sugar to keep us going, we completed the event successfully with a lot of tired bodies. Our sleeping hours ranged from a mere one hour through to about seven hours. We all walked the last hour together and then had prize-giving before heading back to Ōtaki.

Sadly, last year, Ōtaki College had to farewell a well-respected staff member, Bruce Anderson, who lost his battle to cancer. ‘Relay for Life’ was a great way for students to acknowledge what an inspiration Mr Anderson was for them. There was a wall of remembrance which many students wrote on about Bruce and there was also a candlelight ceremony. We bought a candle for Bruce and placed it in a bag which, at dusk, which was put on the side of the track for the remainder of the night. This event was definitely an eye opener for many students involved and was also close to home for some.

The event was a huge success and students all really enjoyed this experience. We hope to make this an annual event for Ōtaki College. I would like to thank the local Rotary Club for their support in getting students to this event and their kind sponsorship towards our fundraising.

Students involved were:

Ashleigh (team captain), Kennedy, Eli, Finley, Moihi, Elijah, Lucy, Kate, Krunal, Joel, Felix, Kahe, Kelsi, Telesia, Rosana, Kahu, Makayla, Sophia, Ele, Turama, Kataraina, Paeone

Lisa Grant, Acting Head of PE & Health