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Making changes . . . Oamaru Relay For Life co-ordinator Michelle Carson believes the changes have helped attract more people to the event. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Having to make big changes to Oamaru’s Relay For Life has come with a silver lining.

The 24-hour event was scheduled to take place at Centennial Park next weekend but due to ongoing alert level changes organisers decided to push it back and make it smaller. It will now take place on April 10, at Takaro Park, and run from 1pm to 7pm.

Event co-ordinator Michelle Carson said the changes were made to alleviate concerns with Covid-19, but it had also helped attract new participants and 117 people had registered.

“It’s actually been quite good. There’s been an upside – more people have been able to come because it’s not on a long weekend, and for some people a shorter relay is less of a commitment,” she said.

“We’ve had some really positive feedback from it.”

It would still have the traditional Relay For Life events, including an opening lap from cancer survivors and carers, and the candlelight ceremony.

This year’s event would be the first Relay For Life in Oamaru for five years, and organisers were over the moon it was returning.

“It’ll be great to have it back into the community and for people to remember those that have been impacted upon by cancer. It’s in our community, and it’s nice to have that special occasion to remember them.”

There were plenty of other ways for people to be involved in the event too, from face-painting to busking.

A young local girl, Isabella Phillips had set up her own fundraising page and would perform at the event.

“Her family’s been impacted by cancer and she’s really passionate about it.”

The event required a lot of volunteers, and anyone interested in helping out was encouraged to register their interest online.

“We can’t do it without it and it’s volunteering for a really good cause. There’s plenty of jobs for all ability levels,” she said.

To register as a volunteer, or to sign up for the event, visit northotago.relayforlife.org.nz.