The Australian Turf Club has announced its official 2017 Charity Partner – SpinalCure Australia – ahead of the start this week of the Sydney Carnival and Longines Golden Slipper Carnival at Rosehill Gardens.
SpinalCure Australia was founded with the sole aim of finding a cure for spinal cord injury (SCI) through the promotion and funding of medical research.
As the Australian Turf Club’ s 2017 Charity Partner, SpinalCure Australia will receive all proceeds from the Longines Golden Slipper Pin & Win competition, as well 50 per cent of profits from an auction of the official Longines Golden Slipper saddle cloths.
The remaining 50 per cent of proceeds are donated by the ATC to the National Jockeys Trust.
The ATC will also continue to support SpinalCure Australia throughout the year with fundraising as well as ATC staff volunteer programs.
Australian Turf Club Executive General Manager of People and Community Jennifer Schembri said SpinalCure was the second annual Charity Partner of the ATC.
“We are proud to join with an organisation that helps fund such important medical work,’’ Ms Schembri said.
“The racing industry is known for its generosity, and at the ATC we greatly value the role we can play in local communities across Sydney, including at and around our four racecourses.’’
SpinalCure Australia CEO Duncan Wallace said: “We are honoured and delighted to have been chosen as the ATC charity partner for this year.
“The awareness and support this will help generate will take us closer to the day when a spinal cord injury is no longer a life sentence.
“It can be a long way from the saddle to the ground and sadly spinal cord injuries do occur.
“However, promising interventions that help restore feeling and function, such as the neurostimulation treatment that we are introducing to Australia via Project Edge, are under development and with the support of the ATC we will see them become available even sooner.
“The funds raised through ATC will help fund SpinalCure’s vital work and deliver a significantly improved quality of life to Australians living with paralysis in the near future.’’
There are more than 15,000 people in Australia living with an SCI, with a new SCI occurring each day, usually to a young person between the ages of 15 to 24.
The annual cost of SCI to the Australian economy is estimated to be $4 billion and the average lifetime care cost for a person with a high-level SCI is estimated to be $9.5 million.