Goulburn gymnastics coach Vaughn Edmonds and his students at Invert Gymnastics are counting down the days until their mammoth 24-hour charity relay kicks off.
They are committed to moving non-stop for 24 hours, performing gymnastics on the bars and trampoline, cycling on spin bikes and walking around the gym during Goulburn’s Relay Your Way from Saturday, 31 October until Sunday, 1 November.
For the first time, Cancer Council NSW’s Goulburn Relay for Life is hosting Goulburn’s Relay Your Way to keep the charity fundraiser going through COVID-19 restrictions.
Instead of coming together for one big event, the community is encouraged to get together in smaller groups at home, at work or in the neighbourhood to celebrate Relay for Life ‘your way’.
Vaughn and his gymnasts have been taking part in Goulburn’s Relay for Life for six years. In the first year they took part, they lasted for 12 hours, but they subsequently set the bar higher and have lasted the whole 24 hours every year since.
“All the gymnasts have been training so they’ll have plenty of energy on the day,” says Vaughn about how they’re feeling ahead of the 2020 event. “For the adults and myself, it will be a caffeine-fuelled event but we’re looking forward to it. I think the adrenaline and excitement will keep us going.”
The event’s purpose is to raise funds and awareness for cancer, a cause close to Vaughn’s heart.
“My grandmother had breast cancer and my grandfather had cancer so it’s quite prevalent in my family,” he says. “Thankfully, they beat it and now we take part in the event every year to raise money to help find a cure for others.”
Goulburn High School maths teacher Catherine Kelly is also pumped for this year’s Relay Your Way as a first-time ambassador. One of Catherine’s students nominated her for the position as she had taken part in Goulburn’s Relay for Life for the past six years.
Catherine has become an advocate for early breast cancer screening through her involvement with the relay, which sparks many conversations.
“My grandmother had breast cancer and so did my cousin,” she says. “When my cousin was diagnosed, they told us all to get tested and I was diagnosed with breast cancer, too. I was 42 years old. They advertise breast screening for over 50-year-olds, but you can be screened if you’re 40-years-old and over.”
This year, Catherine is taking part in Goulburn’s Relay Your Way with other Goulburn High School students on the school’s grounds where they will camp.
Lynn Hornbrook from Goulburn doughnut store Deliciously Wicked will keep relayers’ spirits high with purple and yellow doughnuts on sale during the event.
She has been involved in Goulburn’s Relay for Life since 2006 and donates all of the proceeds from the $3 purple and yellow doughnuts, and drinks sold with them, to Cancer Council NSW.
Lynn is a cancer survivor and does what she can to help others survive, too.
“I felt because I was one of the lucky ones, I’d do something for the ones who aren’t so lucky and donate as much as I can to raise funds for Relay for Life,” she says.
All the action from Relay Your Way will be broadcast live for 24-hours on Radio Goulburn. Station manager Josh Mathews believes this will be something special.
“We are going to have a lot of fun with this,” he says. “Our team is very passionate about supporting Goulburn Relay and we are looking forward to being part of something fun and different to raise much needed funds for Cancer Council NSW.
“We are also going to bring to life the special elements of the relay on air: the opening ceremony, hope ceremony and closing ceremony, as well as interviews with teams, live performances and a 24-hour broadcast to raise money.”
You can register your team in Goulburn Relay Your Way by visiting Cancer Council NSW.