Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Cobram harness racing turns pink

More than $5000 raised for breast cancer in Cobram Harness Club's two-day fundraiser.

ROB HENSON June 3, 2014 3:47am

Winners: Cobram Harness Racing Club secretary Bob Watson presents Anne and Nevile Walsh with one of the many raffle prizes of the night.

About $5000 has been raised for breast cancer research from Cobram Harness Racing Club’s two-day event.

On Sunday night, May 18, up to 100 people attended Barooga Sports Club, where raffles and auctions, along with $25 from each ticket, went to the Jane McGrath Foundation.

Then on Monday, May 19, about 400 people attended the Ladies’ Day harness meeting, which hosted racing action in perfect conditions.

Among the items to be auctioned at the dinner was a cricket ball signed by former Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath and a football signed by television presenter Eddie McGuire.

Guest speaker Brigette McGuire spoke of her role as McGuire Marketing principal and managing director.

Growing up in Broadmeadows, with brothers Eddie (TV presenter) and Frank (State Member for Broadmeadows), Ms McGuire said it had been tough to get a word in around the dinner table.

‘‘Conversations were robust, with big personalities — I had to find something that I was passionate about.’’

She was in Year 3 when two tennis courts were built in Broadmeadows.

‘‘Tennis was very good for a young girl; I was very shy, and tennis was something I could be good at.’’

Going on to become a star player in her teens and later Australian Open marketing manager, she encouraged young sportspeople to pursue their passions.

‘‘Sport is a big business, there’s lots of jobs around. And if there’s one area that’s certainly produced sporting talents it’s country Australia.’’

Ms McGuire also encouraged women to continue in sport beyond the teenage years.

‘‘It’s okay at school, then you have work commitments. One of the areas we’ve been working on with national sporting organisations is thinking maybe women are too busy for sport.

‘‘Women are very passionate about sport but it needs to be social, needs to feel good, and be with your mates.

‘‘Women are an important market for sports, they can’t be ignored. You must include mums in what is a family occasion.’’

The former marketing manager of the Australian Open said Australia’s former excellence in tennis was falling to competitive European powers.

‘‘Traditionally we’ve had great players from regional areas, so perhaps our next champion is from Cobram.

‘‘But you only have to look in the Australian Open singles draw: 22 from Spain and 25 from France — we’re not where we once were.

‘‘We have to go have a look at France or Spain because something there is obviously working.’’

On the struggle between sports for young players, Ms McGuire said soccer was a major force, while girls’ footy was soaring in popularity.

‘‘Kids will go with where their friends go, that’s the biggest factor,’’ she said.

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