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Teamwork sees NZDF come fifth in Relay for Life

Relay for Life 2009. Wing Commander Roger Pringle and Steph Pringle. WN 09-0025-46
Relay for Life 2009. Wing Commander Roger Pringle and Steph Pringle. (WN 09-0025-46)

01 April 2009

An awesome team effort for a great cause saw the Wellington-based Defence Force team finish a creditable fifth place in the Relay for Life held at Frank Kitts Park in the Wellington over the weekend 28-29 March.

Relay for Life is an annual fundraising event for the Cancer Society. The theme for 2009 was Celebrate, Remember, Fight back. The 87 teams entered comprised schools, corporates, businesses, organisations and family groups from around the region. NZDF had two teams; runners and walkers, from the Navy, Army and Air Force services, as well as civilian personnel, family and friends. 

The weather in 2009 was a vast improvement over last year’s atrocious conditions and made for a fabulous weekend. As always an intrepid group stayed overnight and, with very little sleep, carried the baton around the track on a starry and clear night. The midnight /graveyard shift is always most difficult. 

A number of people in our team had had personal experience of cancer, losing loved ones or knowing family or friends with the condition. But there were survivor stories as well and the first lap of the relay saw a spectacular turn out of survivors of cancer and their supporters.

Top results were as follows:

  • Hutt International Boys’ School 1st (636 laps)
  • Wellington East Girls College 2nd (586 laps),
  • Sue’s Blackspots and Dots 3rd (510 laps),
  • Team Gori 4th (493 laps) and NZDF 5th (487 laps).

The NZDF walking team completed 230 laps. Team captain, Wing Commander Rodger Pringle, said, “Our achievement was awesome, considering we were a mixed-age group team running against a number of college-aged teams.

“However, the Relay isn’t just about winning but working together as a team, camaraderie, meeting new people, pitching in for the cause and having a great time - and we certainly did that!” He said, “Well done to everyone who took part, whether you ran, jogged, sprinted, walked, watched or kept the hot food going on the BBQ. I’d like to add a special thank you to Julie Gatland-Griffin and Ally Clelland for organising the inaugural Purple Power Day in Wellington and the two NZDF teams for 2009.”

While funds are still being banked, to date the team has raised over $2500 for the Cancer Society.


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