Big Pink Volleyball Tournament hopes to promote breast cancer awareness

October 03, 2016

Rachel Librach

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     Sports teams are well-known for their support of breast cancer awareness with their pink jerseys, socks and other sport accessories.

     This October, the Recreation and Wellness Center hopes to raise awareness of breast cancer with their second annual Big Pink Volleyball Tournament.

     Students can attend this event for free on Oct. 6 from 7-9 p.m. Donations will also be accepted and donated to the Breast Cancer Foundation.

     This event serves to increase breast cancer awareness, provide support for women affected and inform people of simple preventative measures, according to Katie Gordon, wellness promotion coordinator.

     “The three main points we really want to stress: raising awareness about your family history, getting a yearly breast exam and then just being familiar with your own body so you can know if there are any changes that you can bring up to a provider,” said Gordon.

     On average, women 60 years or older are diagnosed with breast cancer, but 10 percent of breast cancer diagnoses include women and men under the age of 45, according to Gordon.

     “If you have a family history of breast cancer, then you have risk factors that dramatically increase.”

     The Wellness Center offers breast exams for $15, which students are encouraged to pay for at least once a year, said Gordon.

     Big Pink Volleyball, an organization that started at Western Illinois University in 2002, has spread to 15 institutions willing to participate. The organization provides information and a $205 volleyball to the Big Pink Volleyball Tournament at participating schools.

     So far, Big Pink Volleyball has raised $115,100.79 for breast cancer research funds such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure, McDonough District Hospital and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

     UCCS hosted its fi rst Big Pink Volleyball Tournament in 2015, but was unable to market the event or get approved to accept donations in time. Competitive sports coordinator Skyler Cook expects a greater turnout at the tournament this year since the Rec Center is better prepared.

     “This year we are really revamping it, partnering with the Zumba (classes) and providing tabling. We got two balls so we can have two games of four on four going on at once,” said Cook.

     Zumba classes and an informational table will provide facts about breast cancer, along with pink accessories to support the cause.

     Two events were designed to include as many students as possible, according to Gordon, wellness promotion coordinator.

     Winners of the tournament will receive an intramural champion T-shirt and a gift card from Chipotle, the sponsor of the tournament.

     To register, Cook said students can go to Participants are also encouraged to wear pink.

     For more information about Big Pink Volleyball, visit