By Paige Brown
The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and sports all around CCSU’s campus are showing their pink pride in support.
The homecoming football game included more than the usual blue and white colors; splashes of pink streaked across the field throughout the game. The players wore pink armbands, braces, tape, sweatbands and socks, some even with words of inspiration written on them.
“Wearing pink means a lot to me,” said Andrew Clements, senior quarterback for the Central football team. “It goes to show that my teammates and I are sympathetic towards the indiviuals and families of those diagnosed with breast cancer.”
Clements believes that wearing pink during games in October is “the least we can do to keep the awareness strong.”
Not only does the football team do this to raise awareness, but some players are even affected by it. Clements had a family member who was diagnosed with breast cancer and that is who he dedicates his pink gear to each game.
“My grandfather battled breast cancer for several years,” he said. “Being an ex-Navy Seal, the tactics he used in underwater demolition put him at risk at a young age. Not knowing the medical dangers decades ago, graphite use by the Navy in his life of work leaked into his blood…He developed an unusual case of breast cancer.”
“I wear pink for him knowing the trouble he went through fighting this cancer, therefore I appreciate the other players wearing pink to raise the awareness around the nation,” explained Clements.
Along with the football team, the Central volleyball team has joined in on the awareness as well. On Sunday, the Blue Devils hosted a “Dig Pink Match.” This game is a fundraising event that NEC teams have been hosting for about five years to raise money for breast cancer awareness.
Coach Linda Sagnelli of Central’s volleyball team explained, “During the month of October, breast cancer awareness month, NEC volleyball teams take turns hosting the Dig Pink Match and it was our turn this year.”
Dig Pink is part of the Side-Out Foundation. Side-Out supports teams all across America to help work towards furthering breast cancer awareness, education and patient services. People can cheer on their teams while donating money and raising awareness for people who are affected by the disease.
“Volleyball has adopted this as a cause to help in any way possible,” said Sagnelli. “Our players wear pink, either uniforms, headbands, socks; anything to raise money to find a cure.”
The Dig Pink match that was held over the weekend was a success for the Central volleyball team. They won both matches against Robert Morris in three straight sets and Saint Francis University in four straight sets, that being on the day of Dig Pink.
“It hits home for our team. Several players have mothers who have battled the disease and have or are winning,” said Sagnelli.
“They know that they have support from their team and their families.”
There was a chili cook-off held by Amy Strickland, the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Student Services and the CCSU athletic department earlier this month. It was $3 at the door and all proceeds were donated to breast cancer research.
Also, according to Clements, the SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) holds a dodgeball tournament as a fundraiser every year to raise money for breast cancer research.
“This brings a large group of our student body together to enjoy the tournament while raising money for a bigger cause and commending those fighting the tough fight against breast cancer,” explained Sagnelli.
The last dodgeball tournament helped raised over $800 and over 300 people participated. To find out more information about the next Breast Cancer Awareness Dodgeball Tournament hosted by the SAAC, visit ccsubluedevils.com.