The College does hundreds of things we’re very proud of, but our position as the world’s number one fundraising school for Relay for Life is probably the most outstanding.
Every year, teachers and pupils walk through the night to raise money for the Cancer Council, showing that if cancer doesn’t sleep, nor do we. Since 2001 we have worked together to raise nearly $500,000. And this year’s effort was no different.
Last weekend 185 boys, 40 parents and at least 20 staff, collectively calling themselves Chloe’s Speed Team, met at Claremont Showgrounds – along with teams from dozens of other schools and organisations – to begin the relay race from noon on Saturday to noon on Sunday.
At this point, you may be envisioning a slow and gentle shuffle around a circuit, but that’s not the Wesley way. There’s no Daring and Doing in a shuffle. Instead, everyone put forward their best effort – with the Speed Team keeping up a lap rate of 53 circuits an hour, all through the night, to reach their goal of an event-record 1073 laps.
Don’t underestimate how tough that was. In some of the middle-of-the-night shifts, there were only three or four boys with the energy to keep the laps going.
Cooper Jackson of Year 12 was one of those boys. “We ran in rotations of six-man teams, running for 90 minutes at a time up until 10am, then we all ran together to finish off. Between us, we covered around 450 kilometres.
“The worst part was at about 3.30am when it was almost the morning, but you felt like you still had a fair way to go. I was on my third shift and knew I had a fourth one after that, so that’s when it got pretty tough.”
So what kept Cooper going when the energy was draining from his system? A visit from Chloe herself, a Penrhos pupil who is currently having her own fight with cancer.
“When Chloe arrived it really gave us strength,” says Cooper. “When it got hard we definitely realised that our efforts were nothing compared to what she’s going through. Suddenly, running for hours on end seemed like nothing.”
Cooper’s feelings were echoed by another runner, Year 12 classmate Stephen Adesina: “It felt like the longest night I’ve ever experienced, it rained, it was cold. But there was a fire in the atmosphere. Everyone was running or walking and knew who they were running for – either Chloe or a loved one. That kept everyone going.”
Come the end of Relay for Life, Wesley College was honoured to be recognised as:
- The highest fundraising school at the event
- The highest fundraiser of any type at the event
- Completing the most laps of any team at the event
- Boasting the Most Sunsmart Tent Site – for making sure all the students had access to sun cream and hats.
It’s looking like, when all donations are in, Wesley College will be adding around $41,000 to the Cancer Council’s funds – a fact that particularly pleased Headmaster David Gee: “There aren’t many families that aren’t touched in some way by cancer and so to gather as a Community and support the Cancer Council, as well as honouring victims and survivors of cancer, was something special. I’m proud of everyone involved.”
It’s not too late to donate either. If you’d like to support the College’s Relay for Life efforts, just click here: DONATE
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