HUNDREDS of fundraisers have taken on a 24-hour challenge today to fight cancer as part of Pontypool’s Relay for Life event.

Around 21 teams and 270 relayers – including 69 children – have been drawn to Pontypool Park for the event, which aims to raise funds for charity Cancer Research UK.

The day involves a mix of music, entertainment and celebration with fundraisers circling the grounds of Pontypool RFC in a series of themed-walks.

A ‘Survivors Marquee’ is also placed in the rugby grounds, with an aim of making cancer survivors “feel special” and visitors will also have the chance to dance in a silent disco as the sun sets.

Lesley Evans took part in the event with a team from Fighting Fit Gym in Griffithstown who have already raised around £1,000.

She added the team were taking part in memory of her cousin, Glyn Thomas, from Sebastopol, who died from bowel cancer aged 36.

Anthony and Jane Phillips, of Griffithstown, were at the relay with ‘Team Warrior’ and have taken part in several ‘Relay for Life’ events before.

Mr Phillips, aged 60, said: “We have done several in the past as we have lost people we know and people we know are going through (cancer)”.

Mrs Phillips, aged 52, said she took part in her first relay 17 years ago when her father, Terry Vincent, aged 62, died from cancer after a two-year battle.

“It’s always very emotional and the event is about the people you have lost and the people who are fighting,” she said.

The event also invites visitors to camp overnight in Pontypool Park for an emotive ‘Candle of Hope’ ceremony at 10pm.

This event will include performances by Blaenavon Male Voice Choir, Pontypool Relay Youth Committee, the Vibe Choir and a speech by Rev. Canon Brian Pippen.

It will close with a lap of the Pontypool RFC grounds with everyone invited to light a ‘Candle of Hope’ bag dedicated to loved ones that will shine through the night.

Organiser Colin Guest, said the event has raised around £42,982 so far and that it is “all about hope and finding a cure for cancer”.

“I would like to thank all the people, friends and families who have supported the event raising huge amounts of money,” he said.

He added that all money raised has been ring-fenced for cancer research in Wales and that the final total will be announced when the event closes at around 11am tomorrow morning.

There are also traders, a Melin Homes communities team stall and an inflatable slide in the park.

For more information, including live fundraising totals, visit: