High School Athletes Support Breast Cancer Awareness

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it seems like each year more and more people are supporting the cause. Even professional athletes and referees who are normally only permitted to wear certain colors get festive for the month. Now, high school athletes are joining in on the campaign.

New Hampshire’s Goffstown High School has reason to be proud of its volleyball team: for six years running, the team has participated in the Making Strides against Breast Cancer walk in Manchester. Three teams at the high school level and four in the middle school have participated, raising $4,705 this year alone. In their six years completing the walk, they’ve raised over $20,000.

The team also has a “Dig Pink Night,” where they don pink jerseys to raise a little extra cash. They sell baked goods at each home game, and they even put out donation buckets. The team started the tradition after one player approached head coach Matt Leonard six years ago.

“We’ve gotten bigger and bigger each year,” he said. “It’s pretty impressive. The kids have been great with it.

“It’s been a great event for us and we’re really proud,” he added. “It’s just great to have these young women have this awareness now.”

Even the cheerleaders have taken to using pink pom-poms during October to raise awareness. Football referees, too, have picked up pink lanyards and whistles. The fall and winter team sports have contributed to programs like Caregivers, Make a Wish Foundation, and Coaches vs. Cancer.

“A number of our members have had relatives or friends that have been affected by breast cancer,” said Ernie Clark, commissioner of the New Hampshire Football Officials Association. “Obviously, we are a male dominated association, but we all have women in our lives that we are quite concerned for, so we decided that this was a good cause.”

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