Aussie connection spurs on Relay

The Arbroath Relay for Life is set to link up with a similar event in Frankston, Melbourne, where a Relay for Life event will be held on the same day in September.
The Arbroath Relay for Life is set to link up with a similar event in Frankston, Melbourne, where a Relay for Life event will be held on the same day in September.

An Australian youngster’s hair-raising stunt for cancer research is providing inspiration for fund-raisers here in Arbroath.

The town’s Relay for Life event will take place in September and this year they aim to link up with a similar event taking place on the same day in Melbourne, Australia, via Skype.

And since teaming up with the committee Down Under in the Frankston Relay for Life, near Melbourne, the local committee members have been learning about five-year-old Maddison Gilbert, who has had her 20cm pony tail cut off in aid of the Australian Cancer Council.

And with both young and old across the globe uniting to fight cancer, chair of the Arbroath relay committee, Alana Loudon, says hearing Maddison’s story is spurring them on to make this year’s relay the best yet.

Alana said: “What an inspirational story. It is such a thoughtful and generous gesture at such a young age to think of other children who are undergoing treatment for cancer.

“Maddison’s story has touched the hearts of many around the world. She is an example to us all.”

There are just 13 weeks left until this year’s relay, which takes place on September 21 and 22 at Arbroath United Cricket Club.

Planning is well under way and the next meeting about the event is set to be held on Tuesday (June 25) at the Lochlands ground.

And Alana added there is an open invitation for anyone interested in the event to attend.

She added: “Anyone who would like to be involved as part of a team, as a survivor, carers, individuals, entertainers, all are welcome to come along at 8 p.m. for more information and to hear what we are planning for this extra special twinning year.

“And again the Relay committee is appealing to Angus folk to again support this wonderful event.

“We are still looking for teams and survivors to take part and to sign up to ensure our survivors have a very special day.”

The relay, which is the town’s biggest fund-raiser for Cancer Research UK, sees teams enter the event with the aim of completing laps around the cricket club ground.

It lasts 24 hours as teams try to keep a member completing laps throughout the event.

The relay always starts with a lap completed by cancer survivors to signify the disease can be beaten.

Music and entertainment is provided by several local groups and there is always a theme to the event, with teams encouraged to dress up to embrace the theme and add to the fun.

This year organisers have chosen the ‘Heroes and Villains’ theme, with participants urged to complete the event in fancy dress.

Then as night falls, the poignant candle of hope ceremony takes place, where candles are lit to remember those who have succumbed to cancer.

Last year, a total of over £40,000 was raised from the event for Cancer Research UK, and hopes are high this target can be smashed.

Registration for Relay for Life 2013 is now open on the Cancer Research Relay for Life webpage, where interested teams can find all the details and sign up

For for further information or if you can help out the relay in any way please contact Alana on or 07881940418.