Hundreds turn out to take part in Relay for Life

Cancer Research UK's Relay for Life at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow
Cancer Research UK's Relay for Life at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow

The sun was shining as hundreds of charity champs put their best foot forward in the fight against cancer.

A total of 60 teams from across South Tyneside and beyond have put on their walking shoes to take part in the 2014 Relay for Life.

The event, now in it’s eighth year, saw 58 cancer survivors join forces with friends and family to take to the track at Monkton Stadium in Jarrow, to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

To date, more than £22,000 has been raised in sponsorship.

The event, supported by South Shields-based Ford Aerospace, started with the cutting of a ribbon by four year-old cancer survivor Charlie Mordey, from Westoe Crown Village in South Shields.

The Westoe Crown Village Primary School pupil will mark three years of being in remission after battling rhabdomyosarcoma - a rare form of cancer which attacks the muscle.

Charlie along with event organiser Ann Walsh led the first steps marking the start of the relay.

The walkers were accompanied by the sound of the bag pipes as they made their way around the first lap of the track.

This year’s theme is the circus and saw clowns joining in the fun, providing those taking part the chance to learn circus skills, while a number of bands and singers to the stage to help to keep the spirits up of the walkers.

Mrs Walsh, who is a PE teacher at Epinay School in Jarrow, said: “This has been fantastic - I didn’t think we would beat last year.

“When I got to the bend I turned round and I got a real lump in my throat, to see all those people behind me, it was just amazing.

“I started the first event with 28 teams. I never thought we would get so big.”