Relay for Life

Relay for Life

Student Sophie Hughes has a long relationship with the Relay for Life. This year is a little bit different, as it’s her first time doing the event with Te Herenga Waka’s team.

Sophie Hughes has been participating in the Relay for Life since she was in year 9.

This year I am the student representative for Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s Relay for Life team. This is an incredible annual event that raises money for Cancer Society NZ.

On the day, each team has a baton for their participants to walk or run with around the track for the full 17 hours—going right through the night. This is to represent that cancer never sleeps.

I participated in Relay for Life five years in a row at high school, and in year 13, I got the opportunity to stay overnight. Since starting here at Te Herenga Waka, I’ve always wanted to be a part of the Uni team and this year I’m excited to be getting that chance!

I’m passionate about this event because I lost my grandmother to breast cancer and at every relay there is a candle ceremony to commemorate all the people who have been lost to cancer or who are fighting it now. I still remember how emotional the ceremony was at my first relay. It was during that moment that I realised it was all for my grandmother and people like her.

Sophie with members of the University Relay for Life team in the Beaglehole Courtyard

Giving back to the community is so rewarding. As you walk or run, you know that by participating in the event the Cancer Society could help to save someone else fighting cancer.

This year the University is pulling together a team of staff and students to do the relay and we’d love it if we could get as many of our community as possible to join us. It will be led by a very special person at the University, Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban, who is a patron of the Cancer Society NZ. You’ll be running with her, me, and our community!

It’s amazing to see how Wellingtonians come together for this event, with a range of participants, volunteers, and cancer survivors taking part, which makes this event so special. Sign up and join us here! On the sign-up page select the ‘Victoria University of Wellington’ team and enter the discount code ‘VUW’ to get the early bird discount rate of $15.

Sophie Hughes is a third-year Health student majoring in Health promotion.

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