Relay for Life on Track for Monkton Stadium
Charity supporters are on track to help raise vital funds in the fight against cancer when the Relay for Life returns to South Tyneside this Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 July.
The weekend-long relay is taking place at Monkton Stadium in Jarrow with money raised going towards Cancer Research UK.
While registrations have closed to take part in the unique fundraising event, spectators are encouraged to support those involved by cheering them on, visiting the stalls and enjoying the music and entertainment on offer.
The event is free all day for visitors to attend and is supported by South Tyneside Council.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Pat Hay said: "The Relay for Life is an incredibly special event and its wonderful to see it returning to Monkton Stadium after a two-year absence due to covid.
"It not only raises money for a such worthwhile cause but brings together hundreds of people to celebrate the lives of those who have been touched by cancer.
"The Relay is always incredibly moving and inspirational and a real demonstration of the power of community spirit in the fight to beat cancer. It offers a message of hope for the future while providing all those in attendance with the opportunity to enjoy a brilliant day of music, games and entertainment."
During the event, team members take turns to run or walk around the track with one member on the track at any one time over the 22-hour period.
The event begins at 11am on Saturday 16th July with the emotional Opening Ceremony and Survivors' Lap of Honour, which sees cancer survivors walk the first lap, cheered by supporters, to show the great strides being made in the fight against cancer.
Another highlight of the weekend is the solemn and unforgettable Candle of Hope ceremony which takes place at 10pm on Saturday. Hundreds of tea light candles are placed around the track lighting the way throughout the night, serving as a message that cancer never sleeps. Visitors get the chance to decorate a candle bag in memory of a loved one.
The final lap at 9am on Sunday is followed by a closing ceremony. At the end of the relay, everyone comes together for a final lap to celebrate their fundraising achievements and reflect on an incredible experience.
Chairman of the Relay for Life Jarrow Committee, Ann Walsh was awarded the British Empire Medal for her Cancer Research UK fundraising work and organising of the event, which is in its 14th year.
She said: "The Relay for Life is hugely important in raising vital funds to help us beat cancer. But it is so much more than a fundraising initiative. It has a real celebratory feel to it as we reflect to remember the steps we have made against cancer while recognising the challenge that still lies ahead.
"It involves so many people, whether they take part, come along and support on the day or contribute in anyway. Everyone who does attend always takes away something special."
The Relay for Life has helped to raise more than £800,000 since it started in South Tyneside.
Money raised goes to Cancer Research UK to fund world-class research to improve understanding of the disease and learn more about how best to prevent, diagnose and treat different forms of cancer. Trials and research carried out at the Northern Institute of Cancer Research in Newcastle are funded by some of the money collected.
Councillor Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council will be closing the event. She said: "Ann works voluntarily and tirelessly alongside the Relay for Life committee to organise this Relay for Life at Jarrow and to raise money for important cancer research work.
"The event is a festival of hope and remembrance and it would be wonderful to see people coming out in force to support this fantastic cause."