Team Teal kicks off
The now annual Team Teal campaign kicks off today with the Geraldine Trotting Club’s meeting at Orari.
The campaign first started in 2014 and was founded by Victorian Duncan McPherson, who lost his wife to ovarian cancer.
During the course of the six-week campaign, every female driver in the country will wear personalised teal-coloured pants and, for every winner recorded in the sulky, $400 will go in to the kitty to aid in ovarian cancer research.
Harness Racing New Zealand has appointed four ambassadors for this year’s campaign – Nicky Chilcott and Alicia Harrison in the north island, Sam Ottley in Canterbury and Ellie Barron in Southland.
Harrison, especially was proud to be selected for her first year as an ambassador and, along with Zev Meredith, has gathered together their 11 fellow junior drivers in the North Island to make further donations.
For every race won by any north island junior driver during the campaign, all 13 of them will donate $5 each – making for $65.
This includes races won by the lads.
Not to be outdone, Ellie Barron hit the group chat and roped in 15 junior drivers from the mainland that will do the same, but for female junior driver wins.
With that many juniors in the south island, and the limited means many of them live off, including the boys’ wins was going to escalate the potential payments to a crippling amount.
The base $400 donations come thanks to Harness Racing New Zealand ($200), Woodlands Stud ($100) and the host clubs ($100).
Barron as already earned a $1500 bonus for the campaign thanks to the generous connections of Heisenberg, who won the re-run Central Otago Trotting Cup late last month.
They wanted to thank Barron for her efforts in assisting with first-aid care to stricken driver Ricky May during his collapse in the first running of the race.
A number of clubs are running Team Teal campaign initiatives over the next six weeks, perhaps most notably the Westport, Reefton and Banks Peninsula Trotting Clubs, who will all run ladies-only races at their meetings.
Addington is running a big fundraising dinner at their February 14 meeting, tickets selling for $45, with dozens of generous sponsors on board.
Cambridge is running a similar venture at their meeting a week later, VIP tickets there going for $49.
Footnote: the South Island junior drivers who have agreed to make donations for every female junior driving win are: Rebecca Heads, Mark Hurrell, Anj Mugford, Ellie Barron, Kerryn Tomlinson, Kieran McNaught, Alana Cameron, Korbyn Newman, Tayla Duley, Ben Hope, Sam Thornley, Gemma Thornley, Siv Diamant, Andrew Fitzgerald, Mikayla Lewis, Olivia Thornley, Chelsea Faithful and Scott Iremonger
The North Island junior drivers who have agreed to make donations for every junior driving win are: Alicia Harrison, Kim Blakemore, Nate Delany, Andrew Drake, Taitlyn Hanara, Zev Meredith, Sheridan Rapley, Craig Smith, Luke Whittaker, Kaleb Bublitz, Dylan Ferguson,Tyler Dewe and Fergus Schumacher.