Press Release – Sport Wellington
While thousands made their way round the bays in Wellington on Sunday 19 February, thousands of other would-be runners and walkers in Christchurch were left frustrated as the Port Hills fires put a stop to their own charity fun run.
Sport Canterbury was due to host their own fun run event, A Run to Remember, on the same day as Cigna Round the Bays earlier this year but the event was cancelled as the route for the run became an exclusion zone for the firefighting helicopters.
After hearing the news about the Port Hills fires and Sport Canterbury having to cancel its event, fellow Regional Sports Trust and Cigna Round the Bays organiser Sport Wellington wanted to help. A special allocation of 500 ‘fundraising’ bibs was ordered for the already sold-out Wellington event three days before it was due to be held.
Half of the proceeds made from the additional bibs, accompanied with online donations, raised just shy of $4,000 in only a couple of days. The cheque was presented to Sport Canterbury CEO Julyan Falloon at the Sport Wellington offices on Friday.
“Our 12km charity fun run is planned as a way for the community to honour those who lost their lives in the February 2011 earthquake. It’s a great run where you get to gaze out over the cityscape from the ridgeline and reflect on what the city and its people have been through, while raising money for the Red Cross. We were really disappointed when it had to be cancelled due to the fires”, said Mr Falloon.
“It was such a nice surprise and show of support when Sport Wellington stepped in to help. Even though our event couldn’t be run, a lot of registrants wanted to donate their registration fees to the Red Cross instead of getting a refund, so this money from the Cigna Round the Bays will be given to the Trees of Canterbury Trust to assist with the replanting of the Port Hills”, he said.
Sport Wellington CEO Phil Gibbons was pleased to be able to help. “The Canterbury region has endured a terrible amount of devastation in recent years. The community has clearly been impacted and we saw an opportunity for our event to help provide some relief to our neighbours down south.
By opening up the additional entries and donating half of the money raised to the Canterbury communities via our close friends at Sport Canterbury, we would like to think we helped in the best way we can” adds Phil.