The annual ‘Walk for Women’s Cancer’ in the Sunshine Coast was started in 2004. The first year, the founder and 12 of her colleagues and family walked along the Sunshine Coast to raise money and awareness for those affected by women’s cancer.
Over the years the Sunshine Coast Walk has grown to over 1,300 people, raising more than $ 460,000 for the fight for women’s cancer. With 1 in 6 women being diagnosed with this terrible disease in their lifetime, this walk sends a message of support to all Queensland women affected by cancer and marks the importance of raising both funds and awareness the cause. It has also become an engaging environment to remember and celebrate the lives of those affected.
The Rapid Relief Team (RRT) is in support of this commendable cause and this year, offered to assist with this year’s walkathon to be held on Saturday 27th June at the picturesque location of Alexandra Headlands. The walk was to be split into 2 different courses, a 10km and a 20km walk with both routes starting and finishing at the Alexandra Headlands Surf Life Saving Club. Teams from both Nambour and Gympie came together in this event to provide the needed support for the day.
Braving the dark and cold drizzling rain, 14 eager young people started out at 4:00am to post signage marking out the routes the walkers would take. Meanwhile the rest of the team gathered at the starting line for a volunteer briefing at 6:30am followed by a hearty breakfast of bacon and egg muffins served by RRT to all volunteers and Cancer Council staff.
Around 7:30am, the RRT marshals moved into position at strategic way points along the route to direct the walkers. Other RRT volunteers manned 1 of 3 water stations positioned throughout the course greeting participants with smiling faces and an encouraging word.
At the ½ way point for the 20km walkers, a very enthusiastic team, complete with a balloon arch, whistles and clappers, encouraged and cheered on all participants. The arch also seemed to be a very popular photography booth with almost all of the walkers stopping for a group photo and a chat with the team. Back at the finish line, the RRT had a delicious and very welcome sausage sizzle going for all weary participants and volunteers.
Despite the beginning of the day not looking promising with overcast skies above, the walk attracted approximately 800 keen participants and even as the rain began to fall the mood remained upbeat with many colourful costumes and themed groups appearing.
Esther (the event organiser) praised the efforts of the team saying, “I found myself not having to worry about anything that RRT was supporting us with, this is a rare and blessed feeling. Thank-you RRT for being totally awesome. It is dedication from amazing people like you that help us beat cancer every single day.”
RRT would like to thank the event organisers (Cancer Council QLD) for the privilege of being included in this event and the opportunity to support them in the fight against women’s cancer. Congratulations to all, the participants, sponsors and event organisers for making this a great day!!