Archive for December 16th, 2019
Pink Strides Of Walk For Life Tenerife Are Bigger Than Ever

Great friends, great vibes, great costumes, and above all a truly great cause. Walk For Life lit up the south of Tenerife again, for the 15th year, and the 2019 vintage was as bubbly and joyful as ever. Hope is always the driving force, education, research, and early treatment are the tools but it is the people who embrace the Walk For Life and all its hard work throughout the year that have made it one of the biggest spectacles on the island.


As I caught the bus in from Los Cristianos to Siam Mall, I could see pink groups gathering for coffee, breakfast, and last minute costume adjustments before they headed to the Adeje start point. The main stage was bouncing, faces were being painted, t shirts, wings, and hats were being fine tuned. Everyone wants to get involved, the Adeje bomberos (fire fighters) and a local ambulance crew stood by bedecked in pink ribbons. Children and pets swelled the family numbers, and water, bananas, and cookies were stocked up ready for the 3.5 km route ahead.

Mayor Fraga of Adeje and Mayor Mena of Arona were joined this year at the head of the procession by the President of the Tenerife Cabildo (government) Pedro Martin. The drum band rapped out their rallying call and the pink ribbon started to thread its way out of the car park and flooded over the motorway bridge and towards the coastal promenade. There are always a few tears, many walk in memory of family and friends they have lost, but there is a defiant intent to ensure prevention and better treatments can spare other from the same suffering.

Founder, visionary, and driving force Brigitte Gypen always has a glowing smile of pleasure and pride. Backed by a dedicated team of helpers and so much goodwill, she has seen real progress in attitudes and support for the cause. The looks on the faces of unsuspecting tourists are always rewarding, they peel themselves of their beach sunbeds and appear on balconies and roof tops trying to take in the sheer scale and spread of the pink procession. Each year the route is tweaked a little for variety, this time the end point was the Golden Mile just over the border into Arona and near Los Cristianos.

Entertainment is always a key part to the celebration as walkers reach the end of their journey, a large stage made a focal point and Los Banditos were ready with some nostalgic rock and roll to kick people up an dancing. The walk has moved with the times, no more stacks of balloons to float away and damage the environment, ticka tape was cannoned into the air above the finish zone and would be much easier to tidy away afterwards. As collection money was paid in the amazing total of 36,600 euros emerged, some of it made up from fund raising that goes on in the preceding year. Walk For Life is the chosen charity of my CD Tenerife family, Armada Sur, and I was immensely proud of the 1,364 euros they contributed.

My admiration for all those who make Walk For Life such a success, grows every year. Already plans are being drawn up for next year, and the foundation works all through the year to offer support and advice to those who need it. The website gives practical advice and links in several languages.