Team hands over the baton

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Relay For Life Bowie's Bees team members (from left, back) John McGibbon, Ken Bowie and John Low (front) Sylvia McGibbon and Barbara Low. Photo: Supplied

BOWIE’S Bees are ready to buzz off, but are also keen for a replacement team to take their spot in next year’s Relay For Life.

King bee Ken Bowie said it was time to hand over the bees, bikes and memorabilia to a new team of bees.

Mr Bowie, who was also on the Relay For Life organising committee, said after 15 years many of the current team were at different life stages, with some not as active as they had been, so it was timely to hand the baton over.

“We have done our thing over time… now it is time to hand it to a new team.”

A fundraiser for The Cancer Society, Relay For Life is held every two years, with the next relay to take place at Rugby Park in Invercargill, beginning at 2pm on Saturday, March 10, and finishing at 10am the following day.

The Cancer Society of New Zealand, Otago and Southland events and campaigns co-ordinator Amy Hibbs said registrations were being taken, with 45 teams already registered.

“We are aiming for 100 teams.

“Relay For Life brings together people of all ages, from all walks of life in the community, all for one cause – to celebrate, remember and fight back against cancer.”

Cancer impacted most of us, she said. One in three people will be affected during their lifetime.

Ms Hibbs said the relay was not just about raising money, it was also about people walking together and saying that as a community we want to be there for people when they need support.

Funds raised from the relay were used in Southland and Otago to support people who had been affected by cancer, as well as health promotion to reduce the risk of cancer, and to also fund research.

Mr Bowie said his team had Buster the Bee, as well as two bikes, one of which was a penny farthing and the other which bent in the middle, costumes, and a hive of toy bees to pass the legacy on.

Having been a part of the relay since 2002, Bowie Bees were often recognised and associated with the relay.

Mr Bowie suggested a team of about 10 was a good number to take part in the relay, as it took part over 20 hours of continuous walking and could spread the “workload”, although some teams which entered had teams of up to 20.

“The idea is to raise funds before the day (relay) and always have someone from each team on the track (walking).”

Bowie’s Bees were also keen to help the new team with mentoring and fundraising tips. And the team didn’t mind if the new people preferred to rename the bee and team, or redecorate the mascot and accompaniments.

For more information about Relay For Life, phone Amy Hibbs on 03 218 4108 or 021 406 632. For more information about Bowie’s Bees, phone Ken Bowie on 027 462 0890.

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