Last year, Rottnest Island Golf Club (RIGC) hosted its inaugural The Longest Day golf challenge. Golfers played 72 holes in one day and raised over $38,000 for Cancer Council WA’s research, prevention and support services.
Mark Heron – the event organiser – is now planning the second Longest Day event at Rottnest Golf Club for 2024. He shares his experience with the event, what it means for him, and gives advice for other clubs who are thinking about signing up.
What did it mean to be part of The Longest Day in 2023?
“The inaugural Longest Day event on Rottnest Island meant so much on a variety of levels”, he shares.
Mark said, “the personal achievement of walking 72 holes of golf in one day was very rewarding. The training and lifestyle choices leading up to the event definitely improved my general health”.
“The fundraising was an incredible success. It was very humbling to see such a large total go towards a vital cause”, he shares.
Mark said, “the camaraderie and stories shared throughout the day and in the lead up to the event were a small step in the grieving process. To spend this journey with friends (new and old) was very meaningful. The Rottnest Island community were huge supporters of this event. This event had a unique community feel. The biggest reason this event meant so much, was to honour the person I am playing for”.
Why are you doing The Longest Day again in 2024?
“The Longest Day 2024 will be one of the biggest emotional challenges of my life. After organising and competing in the challenge for the first time in 2023, my biggest support network for that event, my brother, was diagnosed, and passed away from gall bladder cancer. Everyone has their own personal story with cancer. Personally, The Longest Day 2024 is going to be particularly difficult, but worthwhile”, Mark bravely shares.
What advice have you got for clubs thinking about signing up?
“I strongly encourage all clubs to sign up. It doesn’t matter if it’s one member that plays, or a whole event is created, it’s a very special event”, he says.
Mark said, “initially, the inaugural Rottnest Island event was going to be myself and a couple of mates attempting to complete the challenge. With the magnificent support of the RIGC, and some incredible sponsors (especially SeaLink Rottnest, the Rottnest Island Authority and many other sponsors) the event turned into a big success”.
“A total of 16 players competed in Rottnest Island’s The Longest Day (72 hole event). The result of raising $38,468 for Cancer Council WA was nothing short of extraordinary”, he says.
“If your golf club has one person passionate about this event and has the support, it will be a success. I encourage anyone who would like some tips on organising a Longest Day event to get in touch with Cancer Council WA’s Engagement team”, Mark says.
The Longest Day Rottnest Island will be held later this year.
Mark shares that there will be day trip players, but encourages those that are interested to visit with friends and family and enjoy what Rottnest Island has on offer.
If you’d like to get involved in The Longest Day, you can sign up at here.