The Shaw and Partners Foundation was honoured to help raise over $30,000 for Sunflowers for Jess, matching dollar-for-dollar all contributions made.

In May 2018, Jess tragically suffered an accident doing what she loves most, surfing with her friends on the Gold Coast. The accident resulted in a spinal injury, fracturing her C5 vertebra which squashed the spinal cord and left her without feeling or movement below the shoulders.

The Shaw and Partners Foundation, together with the help of the Surf Life Saving and Ironman community, organised a crowdfunding campaign. All money raised during the Coolangatta Gold Ironman Origin Series will be donated to former ironwoman Jess Collins.

The race involved eight world champion athletes representing their State of Origin.  Two teams, two days, two races, each race with four components: run, swim, paddleboard and ocean surf ski. The team with the fastest combined time over the two days would be crowned the winner. However, both teams were competing for one reason only: to raise vital funds for the Sunflowers for Jess campaign.

The NSW team was represented by Kendrick Louis, Hayden White, Matt Poole and Mackenzie Hynard; while Shannon Eckstein, Caine Eckstein, Cory Hill and Luke Cuff, made up the Queensland contingent.

On the second day NSW was marginally ahead going into the final leg of the race, but Caine Eckstein claimed victory for the Queenslander’s when he powered across the finish line with a two minute lead on the Blues.

The money raised during the event will go towards Jess’s recovery and rehabilitation in the hope that one day she will again stand tall and face the sun, just like a sunflower.

Thank you to all involved for your support and generous contributions.