4 November 2022

Wagga's Relay for Life team recognised for dogged endurance

| Chris Roe
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Relay for life committee

Wagga’s Relay for Life committee at the 2022 event. Photo: Supplied.

Cancer survivor Alan Pottie is passionate in his support for Wagga’s Relay For Life, which raises funds annually for the Cancer Council.

“I remember when I got diagnosed, just thinking, ‘I hope someone knows about this stuff’, and that’s what the Cancer Council does in providing that support and research,” he said.

Alan is the chairman of the Wagga Wagga Relay For Life volunteering committee, which, along with Cancer Council employee Sheridan Evans, are finalists in the charity’s prestigious CEO Awards.

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The committee is up for the ‘Volunteer Team Award’ category, while Sheridan is a finalist for ‘Employee of the Year’.

Sheridan joined the Cancer Council team in May last year after almost two decades as a radiation therapist at the Riverina Cancer Care Centre.

She said the recognition was a nice surprise.

“I had worked previously in cancer treatment and things like that and this was a great opportunity to move into some of the support stuff that Cancer Council does,” Sheridan explained.

“It’s also about the promotion around cancer prevention and ultimately working towards having a cancer-free future.”

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As the community programs coordinator Sheridan oversees the delivery of services, coordinating ‘transport to treatment’ in the Albury, Wagga and Griffith areas that takes patients to their appointments.

She has also supported regional fundraisers including the Wagga and Border relays.

“There’s a catchcry for the relay that goes, ‘Celebrate, remember and fight back’,” she said.

“We celebrate the people that we’ve known that have recovered from their cancer diagnosis. We remember those that we’ve lost to cancer as well and we fight back against it so we raise money to go into research and support.”

Sheridan Evans

Sheridan Evans (left) is a finalist in the Cancer Council’s CEO Awards. Photo: Supplied.

Despite a bumpy few years for the committee, they have doggedly pushed on with the event, holding the relay virtually during COVID-19 and then relocating indoors due to wet weather at this year’s event.

While they had been looking forward to making a return to Conolly Oval for the 24-hour relay, the sodden conditions forced them to pivot just days out from the event and hold a scaled-down relay at Equex Stadium.

Alan said whether virtually or indoors, the Wagga event went ahead with the mindset that “cancer does not stop and neither will we”.

“It was great this year, even though we had to move the event, we were able to use that venue and lap inside, and we didn’t really have to change the event that much,” he said.

During back-to-back virtual events, the committee raised around $100,000 for the Cancer Council while this year’s event collected $75,000.

Alan said the nomination for the award helped to boost awareness.

“It just keeps the brand flying and keeps up the awareness really,” he said.

“Any opportunity for recognition of the committee or the event, or more importantly, the Cancer Council is a good thing because people hear about it and learn more about the support and research they do.”

Cancer Council NSW’s annual CEO Awards will be held on 29 November 2022.

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