The Bendigo Harness Racing Club is strapping up for a very special race meet on Wednesday, February 17.
For the seventh year, the state's leading reinswomen will spearhead Harness Racing Victoria's Team Teal campaign to raise funds for ovarian cancer research and programs.
Across six weeks, until March 14, all female drivers in Victoria will wear teal pants at race meets and for every winner they pilot, HRV and wagering partner Tabcorp commit $200 each to deliver $400 towards key research initiatives.
Bendigo Harness Racing Club general manager Erik Hendrix said the entire industry gets behind the Team Teal campaign.
"The fundraising drive goes for six weeks and for any individuals that donate more than $200, they enter a draw to pick up a race name on the night of February 17," Mr Hendrix said.
The Team Teal campaign was created by Duncan McPherson OAM, who lost his wife Lyn, aged 52, to ovarian cancer in 2010.
In failing health, Lyn and her family began fundraising for ovarian cancer research and nurses supporting women in the research units.
It was an effort that Mr McPherson connected with his passion for harness racing, co-founding Team Teal with fellow owners and trainers Michael Taranto and Jim Connolly.
After beginning with Harness Racing Victoria in 2014, the campaign expanded into NSW in 2016 and internationally to New Zealand in 2018.
In 2020, reinswomen in Australia and New Zealand notched 451 wins to raise $164,600.
A WomenCan spokesperson said the organisation was excited to partner with the harness racing industry for the fundraiser.
"The funds raised through the TeamTeal campaign directly support the Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group's Survivors Teaching Students program," the spokesperson said.
To learn more about Bendigo's Team Teal event and to donate, visit bhrc.com.au
"This is a ground breaking education and prevention program that brings ovarian cancer survivors into the classrooms of medical and allied health students to share information about ovarian cancer symptoms, a women's path to diagnosis and their challenges living with cancer."
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