A brand new track will be used for the Sutherland Shire Relay for Life in May, with developments underway at the event’s new beachfront location.
The long-standing event, being held on May 6/7, has been moved from Sylvania Waters Athletics Track to Don Lucas Reserve at Wanda Beach this year.
This is the first year since the event was borne in 2002 that it won’t be held at Sylvania.
A new track at the event’s new home is currently being constructed to host the popular relay, which is the second biggest Relay for Life in Australia.
When the track is completed, the existing 430m walkway at the reserve will be expanded from 2.5m to 7.5m wide.
“It was a tough decision to move the event away from Sylvania and there was a number of factors,” Sutherland Shire Mayor Carmelo Pesce said.
“We were in the process of spending $1M to upgrade the turf there.”
He said the new location was fitting for the event which now boasts a beach view and more parking.
“We hope with the move here it will give the event room to grow bigger and bigger. We want it to be the biggest in Australia.”
Sutherland Shire Relay for Life chairman Rod Coy said the reserve would be the new home of the relay for a long time to come.
“We are looking long term and we want to make it as big as we can,” he said. “The view here – it does not get any better than this. It is a great location.”
He said the new location would also attract more spectators, with plenty of beach goers and people stopping nearby for a coffee likely to check out the event.
Last year about 7000 people took part in the event and Mr Coy said he was hoping numbers would not drop by much this year, despite it being the first year at a new location.
The Sutherland Shire Relay For Life is a community festival to raise money and awareness for Cancer Council NSW.
Every dollar raised through the relay will help fund Cancer Council NSW’s research, prevention programs and support services for those affected by cancer.
It is a fun-packed 24 hours of festivities suitable for people of all ages. People are invited to come by themselves or form a team and take turns to try and have someone walk around the track for the entire relay.
Relay is the only night of the year that locals are allowed to camp at the beach, so some participants may even choose to spend the night.
To register for the 2017 Sutherland Shire Relay For Life visit here.