Relay For Life

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Relay For Life is an inspirational fun event for everyone of all ages and fitness levels, during which we celebrate with survivors, remember loved ones lost to cancer and come together as a community to fight back against cancer.

Join us for Relay For Life 2021 - Registrations Open Now!

Small steps can make a remarkable difference for people affected by cancer in our community. Join us for Relay For Life and let’s do something remarkable together! Relay For Life helps people in your community through the Cancer Society’s support services, health promotion programmes and cancer research.

Marlborough Relay For Life
19th and 20th March 2021

Wairarapa - Country Clareville Relay For Life 2021

20th and 21st March 2021

Wellington Relay For Life
10th and 11th April 2021

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What is Relay For Life?

Relay For Life is an inspiring community experience that gives everyone a chance to celebrate/whakanui cancer survivors and carers; remember/maumaharatia loved ones lost to cancer; and fight back/tu atu by raising awareness and funds to support the work of the Cancer Society.

Everyone and anyone can be involved. Whether you have a connection to someone who has been or is going through cancer or you want to make a difference, join us to create a future with less cancer.

Each team sets up a campsite (some teams theme their campsites) at the event. There is a carnival-like atmosphere throughout with entertainment and a range of games and activities for teams to join in. Teams bring in their own food, there is a meal provided. Food vendors are on-site with hot and cold food and drinks.

How fit do I have to be to take part?

Relay For Life is not a race and suitable for all fitness levels. You can walk or run at your own speed and do as many or as few laps as you like. It’s all about celebrating life for those who have been through a cancer journey, and remembering loved ones lost to cancer.

What happens during the event?

- Opening ceremony
- Survivor and Caregiver lap
- Teams take to the track to walk
- When not walking, participants can join in games, activities and enjoy the entertainment
- After sunset, there is a candlelight ceremony to celebrate cancer survivors, and to show those affected by cancer that they are not alone
- Closing Ceremony

Where does the fundraised money go?

The money raised through Relay For Life helps people in your community through the Cancer Society’s support services, health promotion programmes and cancer research.

How did Relay For Life start?

The concept of Relay For Life began in 1985, when Dr Gordon Klatt, a surgeon and American Cancer Society volunteer, ran and walked 81 miles on a local track for 24 hours. He raised $27,000 for the American Cancer Society. From his experience, the Relay For Life event evolved. Today, Relay is the world's largest cancer fundraising event and is held in 29 countries around the world. It is also the American Cancer Society's signature programme for advocacy and cancer awareness. The inaugural New Zealand event was held in Manawatu in 2001. In 2019, 15 communities from Whangarei to Invercargill will take up the challenge of Relay For Life.