February marks Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Annually in Australia and New Zealand, approximately 2,200 individuals face a life-altering diagnosis of ovarian cancer, and less than half will survive five years.
Every year, from 1 February to 15 March, WomenCan leads a special campaign called Team Teal in the world of harness racing in Australia and New Zealand, where the harness racing community and WomenCan unite to raise funds and awareness for ovarian and gynaecological cancer research and education.
Reinswomen in Teal
One of the highlights of Team Teal is the reinswomen, who wear teal-coloured pants during races, a vibrant symbol of their support for those with lived experiences of gynaecological cancers.
Funds raised by WomenCan's Team Teal during this period are channelled into ANZGOG’s critical work in gynaecological cancer research and education programs, including the Survivors Teaching Students (STS) program. STS raises awareness of the symptoms of ovarian and gynaecological cancers amongst the next generation of health professionals, so the diseases can be detected without delay. STS also provides opportunities for students to learn about the importance of good health communication and compassionate care. Over 150 STS volunteers can personally attest to the fact that it is one of the most empowering things a survivor or caregiver can do.
Funds raised from Team Teal also support our patient's referral networks to access gynaecological cancer clinical trials ensuring women have access to the best available care irrespective of where they live. As part of a long standing partnership since 2016, Tabcorp gives a donation of $200 for every race won by a female driver. This support has been critical to the overall success and impact of Team Teal.
Meet our Team Teal Ambassadors:
This year, trainers Anna Woodmansey and Shannon Price will represent Queensland as Team Teal ambassadors, with their drivers to wear Team Teal silks. We look forward to introducing you to the rest of the Team Teal Ambassadors across Australia and New Zealand in the coming weeks.
A 6-time group one winning trainer, Shannon Price has been one of the leading trainers in Queensland for several years. Boasting over 900 career wins from just under 4500 starters, the 2023 season provided several highlights for the Alberton based trainer including winning the inaugural The Hayden with Speak The Truth who went on to run a game 5th in the $2.1m TAB Eureka. Shannon says, "It’s very important because early detection can save lives, so creating awareness and encouraging women to go and get any symptoms checked out promptly, could save lives.”
Multiple group winning trainer including three group one's with her star Peolsi, Anna Woodmansey is never far away from the winner's stall. From just over 900 starters she has trained 105 winners and a further 230 place getters. Look for her runners throughout Team Teal in the Teal and white sleeve silks on horses such as Jeseeka and Tobefairtoyou. Anna says, "I look forward to participating in Team Teal because it shines a light on this terrible disease, helping to raise funds and awareness, so that we can limit its impact on the community."
This year, trainers Kerryn Manning, Jackie Baker, Kate Gath and Jodi Quinlan will represent Victoria as Team Teal ambassadors, with their drivers to wear Team Teal silks.
Kerryn Manning – “I get to compete in the sport I love to do whilst having the privilege to raise much-needed funds and awareness for such a worthy cause.”
Jackie Baker – “I’m so proud to be a part of Team Teal, where every year we are becoming bigger and stronger in raising money and awareness in the fight against ovarian cancer and creating a brighter future for women’s health.”
Kate Gath – “As a woman, I am passionate about contributing to finding a cure for Ovarian Cancer. Advancing research save lives and I’m honoured to be able to do my bit both on and off the track.”
Jodi Quinlan – “It’s an honour to be a part of team teal as it is a cause close to my heart. To see it start out as a set of colours to become global is reassuring the awareness is getting out there through our Team Teal participation.”
Learn more about Team Teal:
Just like the reinswomen, you too can participate and make a difference for those with lived experiences of gynaecological cancers by donating to Team Teal or by starting your own fundraiser today.