1000 to take part in Relay for Life

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About 1000 Dunedin people will spend this weekend going round in circles, as part of Relay For Life Dunedin 2016. The giant 24-hour event aims to celebrate cancer survivors and carers, remember loved ones lost to cancer and fight back by raising awareness and funds to support the work of the Cancer Society. It will be held at Forsyth Barr Stadium from noon on Saturday to noon on Sunday. This will be the third time the two-yearly Relay for Life has been held at the stadium. The event was brought forward from its usual March time slot to avoid clashing with the recently established University Relay in April, meaning the number of participants was down on the record-breaking 2015 event. However, it had still attracted a respectable 70 teams, Relay for Life team liaison Alex Morrison-Bailey said. ‘‘We are really pleased with the numbers involved, and the teams have been doing some awesome fundraising,’’ Miss Morrison-Bailey said. ‘‘And we have a fantastic programme of entertainment and events lined up. It’s going to be a great weekend.’’ Relay for Life organising committee chairman Jonathan Usher said the event had enjoyed ‘‘outstanding support’’ over the years. ‘‘I’m looking forward to a great atmosphere at the stadium throughout the relay, and it will be a good fundraiser for the Cancer Society,’’ he said. This year the event will adopt a slightly different format. This will include providing access to the pitch area for families who wish to attend a public midnight screening of the 1971 movie Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Another new event will be a silent disco from 2am to 6am. Entertainment co-ordinator Robyn Johnson paid tribute to the ‘‘great line-up’’ of performers for their commitment to the event. ‘‘We are very grateful to them for their support.’’