Samuel Johnson to ride in harness race meet for Love Your Sister

LEGACY: Samuel Johnson, pictured with sister Connie, is taking his fight for cancer research to Ballarat harness racing for a special girls' night out.
LEGACY: Samuel Johnson, pictured with sister Connie, is taking his fight for cancer research to Ballarat harness racing for a special girls' night out.

ACTOR-turned-cancer fighter Samuel Johnson will appear on course for a special girls’ night out race meet in Ballarat.

Johnson has signed up for a novelty race on track in Ballarat and District Trotting Club’s annual charity fundraiser, which this year is supporting Love Your Sister.

Dining packages were sold out within three weeks when tickets were released in March but the Love Your Sister team has just confirmed Johnson will be on course, helping to boost general public interest trackside.

Ballarat and District Trotting Club spokeswoman Belinda Eden said the Love Your Sister theme had really struck a chord with the community and Johnson’s arrival was a bonus.

 “Sam looks like he loves a bit of fun and so we have organised for him to be a driver in a novelty race during the night, but we will say there is a little twist involved,” Ms Eden said.

Daylesford’s Johnson announced he had retired from acting two years ago to focus on fundraising and support for cancer research for the charity created by his sister Connie in 2012.

Their goal is to raise $10 million for “cancer vanquishment” and, so far, they have raised more than $7 million.

Connie died of cancer in September but their Love Your Sister campaign captured hearts across the nation when they launched with Johnson on a unicycle riding more than 15,000 kilometres around Australia encouraging young women to check their boobs.

Johnson and his unicycle stopped in Ballarat on day two.

His continued cancer fighting efforts were honoured as an Australian of the Year finalist this year.

More than 50 Ballarat businesses have donated $7000 in prizes to support the cause. The club will also run a coin toss to win a 10-kilogram block of chocolate, raffles and the chance to add coins to Connie’s Big Heart Project.

Guests can also purchase a heart to add to the heart wall in tribute to people they love affected by cancer.