By Andrew Adermann
The annual Team Teal campaign wrapped up in Brisbane on Saturday night with the Queensland harness racing industry raising almost $15,000 to support ovarian and other gynaecological cancer research.
A donation of $200 was made on every occasion a Queensland reinswoman drove a winner in the Sunshine State, which comprised of $100 from Racing Queensland and $50 apiece from the Albion Park and Redcliffe harness racing clubs.
The six-week campaign saw 12 Queensland drivers recorded a win, with all but one of those scoring on multiple occasions.
The state’s leading female driver, Narissa McMullen, saluted on a staggering 24 occasions, 12 more than her sister, Taleah, who finished in second place on the leaderboard.
A cheque presentation was made at Saturday night’s race meet at Albion Park, with Elsa Larsen on course to accept the $14,800 donation for WomenCan.
Larsen lost her younger sister, Kristen, to ovarian cancer at age 27 late last year and now works tirelessly as an advocate fighting the disease and keeping her sister’s legacy alive.
Larsen was joined in receiving the cheque by Racing Queensland’s Development Strategy Manager, David Brick, and RQ harness racing board member, Margaret Reynolds.
Brick said it was an honour for the state body to be involved in the successful Team Teal campaign over the past two months.
“Two out of three women die from ovarian cancer, and we (Racing Queensland) are delighted to be associated with such a great cause," Brick said.
“Thanks go to Albion Park, Redcliffe and the Mini Trot Clubs that made this happen.
“Thanks also to Elsa and WomenCan, we are proud to have you on-course.”
The Team Teal campaign was created by Duncan McPherson OAM, who lost his wife Lyn to ovarian cancer in 2010.
In failing health, Lyn began fundraising for cancer research, an initiative that Duncan connected with his devotion to trotters in 2014, co-founding Team Teal with Michael Taranto and Jim Connelly.
In conjunction with WomenCan, Team Teal donations will be directed to the Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group, which is the leading clinical trials research organisation for gynaecological cancer in the region.
Racing Queensland would like to acknowledge the Queensland Junior Harness Racing Association, who raised $2,725 through driver sponsorships, raffles and a cake stall.
RQ also extends its thanks to the Queensland Mini Trotting Sporting Association which hosted an all girls pony trot event and Team Teal pony trot parade.
You can click here for more information on the Team Teal campaign.