Pink Zone makes a stop at Simpson

by Ben Lucas

The women’s basketball team will be joining many other colleges across the country on Saturday, Feb. 19 to raise awareness for breast cancer. The theme will be pink and students, fans and community members are being asked to join the cause.

Nicole Gilbert is a sophomore and intern helping to organize the event and the several activities that will take place.

“There will be a raffle for the chance to win a Jordan backpack, pink Nike duffle bag, pink water bottle, pink stocking hat, pink fitness hat, some no-show socks and head bands and a couple gift cards,” Gilbert said.

There will also be a silent auction for two pink basketballs signed by the team. Both of these events are open to the public to enter. For those seeking more information about the issue there will be an information table provided by the Mercy Medical Center to answer questions about breast cancer.

Simpson is partnering with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and its Pink Zone® initiative, whose mission statement includes an effort “to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond.”

Elizabeth Curry, assistant women’s basketball coach, believes that events like this provide a useful opportunity to get information out about important issues, especially as this year more emphasis is being put on spreading the word about the event through posters, e-mails and other methods.

“I think sports can be a catalyst for a lot of opportunities,” Curry said. “What we do as coaches and athletes is so much larger than the game itself. The impact we can have on our student athletes and their experience, the fans that come and the community at large, I think the more we can take advantage of those things the better.”

The basketball team itself will be wearing special gear for the game.

“Throughout the game we show our support for breast cancer research by wearing Pink Zone warm up shirts, pink shoelaces, and pink pre-wrap,” said Ali Sokol, junior forward on the team.

Sokol is glad that schools in the conference are trying to raise awareness, and she believes that playing to represent serious issues can also motivate a team to play harder and better.

“For the most part, I think the teams in our conference all support Pink Zone sometime in the season,” Sokol said. “Playing at home is always great, and playing to represent a cause motivates us even more. It gives us something extra to strive for because we are representing an important issue.”

This will be the fifth season Simpson has participated in the WBCA Pink Zone initiative since its creation in 2007. Saturday’s game will be against Cornell College in Cowles Fieldhouse. Tipoff is at 2 p.m.