On Sunday 16 April, the North Sydney Bears faithful turned out in force for the Bears first home game of the season. Taking on cross town rivals – the South Sydney Rabbitohs – the clubs battled it out for the second annual Women in League Cup.
Out on the field there were a few more determined tackles as the Bears took on a ground-breaking initiative to raise enough funds to finance a specific gynaecological cancer research project conducted by ANZGOG.
The honours of the day went to the Bears with a mighty victory over the Rabbitohs, winning 70 – 0, with Jessica Sergis leading the way, putting 3 tries on the scoreboard. WomenCan ambassador Paula Duncan AM, was in attendance and proudly presented the Cup to the Bears for the second consecutive year.
Paula with the players
Paula experienced deep personal loss where her beloved sister Carmen Duncan died from vaginal cancer in 2018.
“If you have experienced the devastation of gynaecological cancer, you will understand why I am passionate about changing outcomes for women in the future” Paula Duncan, AM
The Bears are aiming to raise $45,000 to fund an ANZGOG Fund For New Research grant – a program that funds innovative pre-clinical and pilot clinical trials in gynaecological cancers.
The Fund for New Research program is made possible by public donations, bequests and philanthropic grants, as well as partnerships with passionate WomenCan supporters such as the North Sydney Bears.
By reaching their goal of raising $45,000, it would be the first time a sporting club has funded a gynaecological cancer research study – something that the Bears are very proud and excited to be a part of.
“At the Bears, we are proud of our involvement in the growth of women’s rugby league over the last five years and now we are extremely proud to be pioneering the way in actively supporting gynaecological cancer research” commented Gareth Holmes, CEO of the North Sydney Bears.
“Improving life for women with gynaecological cancer can only be achieved through increased investment in research” adds Karen Livingstone AM, WomenCan’s Head of Fundraising and Development “We are thrilled with the outcome of the 2023 Women in League Cup and look forward to building on this outstanding partnership with the Bears.”
“Never before has a rugby league club undertaken a fundraising drive to finance a specific gynaecological cancer project which is also a first for ANZGOGs Fund For New Research program. We are very grateful to North Sydney Bears for the Women in League round and their commitment to improving outcomes for the 6,800 Australian women who will be diagnosed with gynaecological cancer this year. It is only through research that we can pioneer new discoveries.”
There’s still time to help the Bears reach their fundraising goal: