The West

Sport stars on start line

Olympian Anna Flanagan knows too well the effects cancer can have on a family.

Two grandparents have had the disease and when aged just eight, the elite hockey player lost her uncle to stomach cancer.

Though she might be best known for her skills with a hockey stick, the gold medallist will join thousands of HBF Run for a Reason participants in raising awareness for a cause close to her heart.

"That was the first big death I experienced as a kid and obviously it was very hard on my family," Flanagan said.

As ambassador for the Cancer Council, she will raise awareness for cancer research alongside celebrity ambassadors in the May 25 run.

She will be joined by former Wildcats captain Brad Robbins, who is running for Lifeline WA, champion sprinter Jody Henry, who is representing the Heart Foundation WA, and Western Warriors cricketer Matt Dixon, who will tackle the 12km leg for Diabetes WA.

But though keen to hit the running track, Flanagan said her participation could depend on whether she was called to represent Australia in the World Cup.

Regardless of whether she lines up, she said she wanted to promote the health benefits of running and staying fit.

To register for the HBF Run for a Reason, visit

The West Australian

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