How a Michael Tynan Memorial Challenge race day at Kembla Grange on Saturday is supporting medical research at UOW

Business leader legacy: Madeline Tynan and Annette Tynan launch the 2019 Michael Tynan Memorial Challenge in front of an image of the late Mr Tynan who was the inspiration behind the event that supports medical research.
Business leader legacy: Madeline Tynan and Annette Tynan launch the 2019 Michael Tynan Memorial Challenge in front of an image of the late Mr Tynan who was the inspiration behind the event that supports medical research.

A charity race day on Saturday has been added to the fourth annual Michael Tynan Memorial Challenge founded in memory of a philanthropic businessman who made a point of giving back to the community.

While the traditional coast track walk through the Royal National Park and car rally are still planned for November 2.

The race day at Kembla Grange is another step in Tynan Motors group director Madeline Tynan's quest to further improve the health of local communities in her late father Michael Tynan's memory.

The launch for a drive and scooter challenge preceding the race day starts in Sutherland on Saturday morning before the rally of cars, motor cycles and scooters depart Carss Park bound Kembla Grange for the race day fund-raising luncheon.

Up to 100 cars, motorbikes and scooters are expected to take part in the rally and more 320 business and community supporters are expected to attend the charity lunch starting at 12.

The charity event linking The Shire and the Illawarra is perfectly timed to be a day before the Dragons play the Sharks in Cronulla.

Mrs Tynan said having the rally on Saturday meant she could also take part because in the past it coincided with the coastal walk.

"Former Police commissioner Andrew Scipione will be seeing us off the on the bikes. He will be riding an MV Augusta," she said.

"And Jamie Soward is joining us this year as well as Luke Lewis".

Supporting medical research: A scene from the launch of the 2019 Michael Tynan Memorial Challenge held at Tynan Motors in June. Pictures: John Veage.

Supporting medical research: A scene from the launch of the 2019 Michael Tynan Memorial Challenge held at Tynan Motors in June. Pictures: John Veage.

Along with the horse racing there will be a live auction and video presentation about medical research during the afternoon.

Then in early November around 200 people are expected to take part in the walk to Sutherland that starts in the traditional location at the UOW Innovation Campus with a light breakfast before participants transported by bus to Otford for the start of the walk. At Bundeena they will board a ferry for a cheese and wine cruise to Cronulla where a celebration will take place.

Georges River Council, Sutherland Shire Council and Wollongong City Council are all supporting the annual challenge in 2019.

The MTMC raises funds for medical research at UOW and the St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation (SSMRF) through an annual event. In April medical research in the Illawarra received a boost when University of Wollongong accepted a $30,000 from funds raised from the Michael Tynan Memorial Challenge. The money is assisting researchers develop new antimicrobial drugs, which builds on the university's research into microbial systems over the past 20 years.

Drug-resistant superbugs are on the rise with estimates that antimicrobial-resistant infections could lead to at least 10 million additional deaths per year and cost the global economy up to $140 trillion by 2050.

In October 2018 that involved 120 walkers, 20 paddlers, 70 drivers and 20 scooters taking on a one day challenge from Wollongong to Sutherland Shire.

MTMC organiser and Tynan Motors group director Madeline Tynan said her family has strong ties to both the Illawarra and UOW and a desire to further improve the health of local communities.

"As a family we are committed to promoting growth in the Illawarra and supporting our community organisations ... the University of Wollongong's medical research is an important part of that commitment," Mrs Tynan said.

"The University is addressing regional health challenges by delivering innovative and quality healthcare, and we are proud to be supporting this research work that has a major impact in our community."

Mrs Tynan said the annual challenge is now in its fourth year and people can register now for the coastal walk in early November.

She said 60 people from the University of Wollongong have already signed on for the walk and there is a table from a medical research team at UOW coming on Saturday.

The first challenge was held in 2016 as a celebration of the life and achievements of Mr Tynan.

Since then almost $1 million has been raised to assist local medical research with the help of many businesses and the media.

Mrs Tynan wants to continue grow the MTMC in her late father's memory to further allow community members the chance to contribute to improving health in the Illawarra.

At the time of the April donation UOW deputy vice-chancellor (Health and Communities) and executive dean of the Faculty of Science, Medicine and health professor Alison Jones said the university welcomed the support of Tynan Motors and the Illawarra community.

"This generous donation allows us to accelerate the work by our interdisciplinary research teams to fight the current rise in antimicrobial resistant infections in our community," Prof Jones said.

"Molecular Horizons and the broader Health and Wellbeing initiatives at UOW are all about creating partnerships and working together to improve health."

Professor Jones said that antimicrobial resistance is a significant branch of medical research at UOW and discoveries will be further accelerated when the Molecular Horizons research facility opens at the Wollongong Campus.

"Our research has a strong Illawarra-Shoalhaven focus by battling the spread of superbugs in our regional community. Establishing new approaches in improving health care in our region will also allow us to drive innovation in health care at the global scale," she said.

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This story Tynan Challenge race day at Kembla Grange for medical research first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.