Gympie's Relay for Life attracts repeat walkers

BACKING up in 2015 are Gympie South State School seniors Harper Hehir and Olivia Hobson who will once again participate in the annual Gympie Relay for Life Challenge at One Mile Ovals in October.

As veterans, the Year 6 students will support the Year 4 and 5 South students in the relay from 3pm in the afternoon, through to the Candlelight Ceremony at about 8pm at night.

The afternoon and night is also open to families who wish to come and support the many walkers that commit to raising essential funds that go directly towards the Cancer Council of Queensland.

Harper, who is captain of the South Sapphires, is looking forward to completing the laps with his friends and being a good team leader and support person for his team.

Olivia, who will lead the South Diamonds is, wanting to beat her 2014 lap record and raise more money.

Gympie South raises their funds each year for the relay by holding a 5c Coin Competition where the class with the highest average (weight) wins a pizza party for their class.

The South Senior Community Support Committee will also hold free dress days and discos.

The committee is this year looking for new fundraising ideas which may include donating a gold coin for a lunchtime swim.

The impact the relay has had on Harper and Olivia is significant, with both hoping to relay when they enter high school and then participate in the adult relay, which sees teams walk through the night.

Harper and Olivia want to see more primary schools participate in the student relay and make a difference in the lives of cancer patients.

Asked what is memorable for them both from the 2014 relay, Olivia said witnessing the Survivors Lap and acknowledging their courage as well as listening to the story of the Face of Relay 2014 - Renee.

Harper recalls the lanterns that lit the oval with the messages written to those who are no longer with us.

Schools wishing to find out more information about the Student Relay for Life can contact Rachael Alexander at Gympie South State School.

Participation is the key in 2015 for schools to experience Relay for Life, with any amount raised making an impact.

For small schools, there is also the ability to create combined school teams, to allow all students the opportunity to "relay for life".

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