Nanaimo girl part of Man in Motion anniversary relay
A girl from Nanaimo is one of 7,000 bearers sharing the load in a relay retracing the route Rick Hansen took across Canada during his Man In Motion World Tour that ended in Vancouver in 1987.
Amy Morris, 13, took part in the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay, carrying the official one-pound sterling silver Rick Hansen Medal 250 metres Monday on its westward journey along the Trans-Canada Highway from Yarrow, B.C.
The relay is nearing the end of its nine-month, 12,000 kilometre journey across Canada, which started Aug. 24 in Cape Spear, Nfld., and will conclude in downtown Vancouver Tuesday (May 22) at Terry Fox Plaza.
Morris, who attends Wellington Secondary School, applied to carry the medal almost one year ago, long enough that she and her father Dave almost forgot she had filed the application.
When the call came saying she was selected as a medal bearer, it was a surprise that arrived just days before she was scheduled to carry the medal.
Dave Morris said each person was chosen because of some way they've made a difference in their community. Amy is a distance runner and a member of Nanaimo Track and Field Club.
"Amy actually inspires a lot of younger athletes," Dave said. "They really look up to her. Her enthusiasm, her heart and bestows high energy and high inspiration to the younger athletes. She always has a smile, she's always positive, always eager."
It was a quick trip to Yarrow and back, but a long day.
"We caught the 6 a.m. ferry and came back on the 5 o'clock ferry," Amy said.
Amy and her dad had to be at Yarrow Community Centre at 11:30 a.m., when the medal bearers were given a one-hour presentation about the history behind the event and stories from individuals participating.
The relay is about celebrating Hansen's original accomplishment as well as promoting ways to make the world a better place.
Activities attached to the day's relay events included releasing hundreds of sturgeon into the Fraser River.
People came out of their houses to watch and cheer the medal bearers as they passed by.
"I think a lot of them thought Rick Hansen was going to be there, but it was an exciting ordeal because it's not often you get to see something like that," Dave said.
Amy carried the medal from 1:31 to 1:34 p.m.
"It was a neat experience, pretty emotional," Dave said. "There were some intense moments there."
For more information about the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay, please visit the relay website at www.rickhansenrelay.com.
Maya Cudney, 10, of Nanoose will be one of the Rick Hansen medal bearers Monday (May 21) and has also been invited to walk with Hansen on the final leg of the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay at Terry Fox Plaza in Vancouver Tuesday (May 22).
Cudney, a Grade 5 student at Nanoose Bay Elementary School, was nominated by her school principal Steve Hamilton for the work she and her sister Hannah, 13, undertook to raise $20,000 for charities through their business partnership in Hope Ropes.
Cudney created the Hope Rope when her grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. Hope Rope sales have raised more than $5,000 for the Rick Hansen Foundation since January.
The age restriction requiring medal bearers to be at least 13 was waived so Cudney could participate in the relay.
She met Rick Hansen with other medal bearers from the Island May 1.
For more information about Hope Ropes, please visit the Hope Rope website at www.hoperope.ca.