Just over seven years ago Tash Cotterill-Haenga lost her father Wayne to cancer.

Now it's his memory that is her driving force in helping the Cancer Society Northland organise the eighth annual Relay for Life on March 15 and 16.

The relay is an annual 24- hour memorial and fundraising walk at the Otaika Sports Park in Whangarei for those affected by cancer.

In her volunteer role as entertainment co-ordinator, Mrs Cotterill-Haenga is responsible for arranging and co-ordinating over 18 hours of entertainment for the overnight event, and organising the stage area. "It's one of those things, being so close to my heart, that I manage to fit it around a full-time job and three kids," she said.


"We're all there for one reason - whether you're supporting someone [with cancer] or have lost someone - everyone's united. And everyone knows someone who has somehow been touched by cancer in some way or another," Mrs Cotterill-Haenga said.

She's urging both first-timers and experienced relayers to form teams and sign up.

"If you haven't done it before, it's definitely worth doing. Get your team entered ... And if you can't enter a team, come along anyway [on the day] - it's worth it."

In the event teams of 10 or more participate in a walk or run relay, keeping a team member on the track throughout the 24 hours.

"Basically one person has to be hopping, skipping or walking on the track throughout the 24 hours," Mrs Cotterill-Haenga said.

While teams are encouraged to fund-raise, with proceeds going towards supporting Northlanders with cancer staying at the Domain Lodge in Auckland, the event is also about remembrance.

This year's Relay for Life starts at 12pm on Saturday March 15 at the Otaika Sports Park. To register a team contact the Cancer Society on 437 5593.