Mother’s Day in Gore had an active feel to it on Sunday.
Mums, daughters and granddaughters were full of heart for a nationwide charity event supporting women’s heart health.
More than 100 women laced up their running shoes for the Jennian Homes Mother’s Day Fun Run-Walk at Hamilton Park, one of 32 locations across New Zealand and the first such event to be held in Gore.
Assisting with the warm up was Commonwealth Games double trap shooter Scott Wilson (Gold Coast 2018 and Manchester 2002 Games).
Close to 10,000 participants walked and ran 5km courses nationwide.
“Heart disease is the No1 cause of death for women in New Zealand, claiming the lives of more than 55 women each week,” Jennian Homes chief operating officer Aidan Jury said.
“It is fantastic to see so many people here in Gore, and across the country, coming together . . . to show support for the women we love,” he said.
“It’s extra special to see men embrace the event and support the women in their lives – cheering them on from the sidelines or even lacing up their running shoes and joining in.”
Mr Jury said every bit counted towards keeping more families together.
“We thank everyone in Gore for helping start Mother’s Day in a unique yet symbolic way.”
Now in its seventh year, the event was part of an initiative to support the Heart Foundation for Women initiative, which aims to improve the heart health of New Zealand women. Gore and Wanaka were two of 10 new locations this year.
Each location had up to three Commonwealth and Olympic athletes, past or present, championing the cause by helping co-ordinate warm-ups, and some also took part over the 5km course.
The attendance of all 50 athletes arose from Jennian Homes’ partnership with the New Zealand Olympic Committee to help Kiwi athletes “Earn The Fern” at the recent Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
“It is great to once again partner with the NZOC to help inspire people of all abilities to take part in this event,” Mr Jury said.
For some women, theMother’s Day event was life-changing, as a “catalyst for an ongoing exercise regime”.
“Those are the real success stories.”