Day At The Track

All female drivers to wear Teal Pants

02:32 AM 16 Jan 2018 NZDT
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Nicky Chillcott,Harness racing Sam Ottley,Harness racing Sheree Tomlinson,Harness racing
Nicky Chillcott
HRNZ photo
Sam Ottley
HRNZ photo
Sheree Tomlinson
HRNZ photo

Harness Racing New Zealand are thrilled to announce that following the huge amount of support for the Teal Pants Campaign, all female drivers have agreed to be a part of the appeal.

Starting February 1st 2018, all female race day drivers around the country will wear teal pants to help raise awareness around Ovarian Cancer in New Zealand.

The campaign will run until 11 March 2018 and three ambassadors have been selected to also wear teal silks. They are Samantha Ottley (Canterbury), Sheree Tomlinson (Southland) and Nicky Chilcott (North Island).

Ottley is thrilled to be a part of the first New Zealand campaign.

“I’m so pleased to be able to be a part of such a great cause. It’s such a big thing in Australia, so it’s pretty cool to see us Kiwis getting behind it too. Here’s hoping I can drive a few winners in the pants and raise a bit of money!”

The first female driver to win the Dominion Handicap, junior driver Sheree Tomlinson is excited to be able to help the cause.

“It’s a great way to be able to support women with ovarian cancer, but to also help raise awareness about it and band together as an industry,” Tomlinson said. “I’m really looking forward to being an ambassador for this important cause.”

For Nicky Chilcott the chance to be an ambassador hit her on a personal level.

“When I was asked to be an ambassador I jumped at the chance to help. My mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer 25 years ago and I’m thrilled to say she is a survivor of it, but I know how hard it was on her and the extended family going through that. She’s very lucky to be here,” said Chilcott. “If we can help anyone going through that terrible experience then I think that’s a huge part of giving back.”

The Teal Pants movement initially started in Victoria in 2014 following the loss of Duncan McPherson’s wife Lyn in 2010 to ovarian cancer. It then was held throughout Australia last season.

Determined to ensure her passing was not in vain, McPherson came up with the concept to raise awareness, as the symptoms of ovarian cancer often are not obvious. It is a silent killer.

He found that often partners of the women taken by ovarian cancer were left lost and without support also, which meant he was often on the other end of a cold call from men who just needed to talk to someone who could understand and help them cope.

McPherson has focused a lot of the awareness campaign around targeting men to get them to support their female partners in getting tested early if something doesn’t seem right.

But the main message around the Teal Pants Campaign in both Australia and New Zealand is the dire need for better awareness, services and early detection.

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