THE organisers of the Pontypool Relay for Life have revealed this year’s event raised almost £100,000 for Cancer Research UK.

The Relay for Life, now in its fourth year, saw 22 teams take part in a 24-hour relay in Pontypool Park.

More than 400 people took part in this year’s event in June, with teams spending months fundraising and collecting sponsors, which were totalled up for the big reveal on Sunday.

The total was supposed to be revealed at a picnic at the Pontypool Park bandstand, but heavy rain meant they were relocated to the Active Living Centre.

“It was absolutely amazing. We didn’t let the rain get the best of us,” said event chairwoman Sian Whelan.

“I don’t know how we managed it. It’s testament to the generosity of the people of Pontypool.

“Only myself and our accounts chairman Colin Guest knew the total before Sunday.

“Everyone was wowed by how much we raised.

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(Four-year-old cancer survivor Ruby Mugleston starts the Pontypool Relay for Life. Picture: Paul McRae.)

“We asked our youth committee to reveal it at the picnic. It’s the only youth committee for the 44 Relays for Life around the UK. We had 22 members, and they would hold assemblies and generally raise awareness of the event in their schools, raising £8,000.

“The leader of the council Anthony Hunt and cabinet member Fiona Cross came down.

“Cllr Cross has taken part in the relay before and she spoke about her personal experience of the relay and how difficult it is to fundraise in what is quite a deprived area.”

The Pontypool Relay for Life has now raised £266,528 for Cancer Research in four years.

Mrs Whelan said this year’s relay was the best one yet.

“I wish you could bottle the atmosphere,” she said. “It was quite an emotional event – especially when we held a ceremony where we lit candles to pay tribute to those whose lives have been affected by cancer.

“The feedback we got back from the teams was it was the best event yet.

“It started out as just an idea, and its just grown and grown.

“Hopefully next year’s event will be as successful as the last four.

“Thank you to everyone who has contributed.”

Next year’s event takes place on Saturday, June 20, and registration opens in November.