Get hip to boost research funds

Shelley, Aaron and Sam Keehn are fired up for the Zumba event.
Shelley, Aaron and Sam Keehn are fired up for the Zumba event. Warren Lynam

RAISING money for Cancer Council Queensland has become a family affair for Shelley, Aaron and Sam Keehn as the Sunshine Coast Zumba instructors shake their hips to help the charity.

The trio will be hosting an I Can Zumba for Cancer launch event this Friday night, at Currimundi's Talara Primary College in a bid to raise funds for cancer research.

Zumba master Enrique Salamao - a man who travels the world teaching the fitness program - performed alongside Zumba creator Beto Perez in Sydney last month and will be holding the Currimundi class alongside the three Coast instructors.

Shelley, sister to Aaron and sister-in-law to Sam, said their experience at the recent Kawana Relay For Life was what sparked the idea for the event.

"We just had such a beautiful experience of the Relay For Life," Shelley said.

"It was such a happy kind of a vibe because everyone was there doing the walk for cancer.

"We had a huge crowd when we did our half-hour class for that and we were just kind of asked to do that off-the-cuff and it was fantastic.

"So after that, we said if we get the opportunity, let's do something else for fundraising and definitely for cancer research."

Shelley said the Relay for Life had made her realise just how important Zumba fitness could be for many people, particularly cancer patients.

"It's one of those diseases that, when someone finds out they have it, they reassess their whole life and they look at their whole life-style and how they've been living, and maybe whether they've been enjoying their life as much as they could," she said.

"That's how we thought Zumba kind of ties in because it's all about feeling good, making your body feel good, making yourself feel good. It makes you happy while you do it."

While the three family members are passionate about Zumba, they're also passionate about cancer research.

"We've got so many friends and family who have been touched in some way by cancer and how much it actually changes your life," Sam said.

"It's not an easy thing to go through and a lot of people go through it, and that inspires you to do what you do."

Aaron said the trio was hoping to raise $1000-$2000 from the event to go to the Queensland Cancer Council.

"If we could get 100 to 200 people here, that would be amazing," he said.

"We'd love to keep going with these events if we can."

Shelley, Aaron and Sam teach Zumba classes around the Sunshine Coast including at Beerwah Hall, Buderim War memorial Hall, Talara Primary College and the Sunshine Coast Police Citizens Youth Club in Burnside.

"It creates access to exercise for so many different people like ages, abilities, sizes," Sam said.

Shelley added: "The last master class we went to, we didn't stop smiling for a week.

"It just makes you feel so good.

"The people who instruct all over the world just have such energy and this lust for life that kind of shines.

They're incredible."

Doors to Friday's I Can Zumba for Cancer event will open for registration at 6pm in the Talara Primary College Hall, with the hip-shaking starting at 6.30pm.

Tickets will be $20 on the night, with pre-paid tickets available for $15.

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Topics:  cancer cancer council queensland health lifestyle zumba

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