Hoops for hope

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Cougar basketball teams raise money to stuff breast cancer

Ed Kapp
Sports Writer

In what one season-ticket holder predicted to be the biggest night of basketball at the University of Regina this year, the Cougars men’s and women’s squads took to the court against the rival Huskies at the main gym on Nov. 5 .

In the first game of the evening’s doubleheader, the U of R’s women’s squad defeated the visiting Huskies 79-68. The night’s second and final contest saw the Cougars’ men’s team, despite leading at the conclusion of the game’s first quarter, lose 105-68 to the Huskies men’s squad.

Although the Cougars teams split the night’s doubleheader with the Huskies, many who made the trip to the university believe a more decisive winner of the night was the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF).

Through its “Shoot for the Cure” campaign, the CBCF was given proceeds raised from pink-themed memorabilia and the event’s 50/50 draw.

The foundation is “the leading national volunteer-based organization dedicated to creating a future without breast cancer.” The CBCF “works collaboratively to fund, support, and advocate for relevant and innovative research, meaningful education, and awareness programs, early diagnosis and effective treatment, and a positive quality of living with breast cancer.”

While the CBCF – which raised over 12 million dollars in the Prairies/North West Territories regions in 2010 – will no doubt benefit from the funds raised from the evening, for some the event left a greater impact.

Carol, a waitress at a popular restaurant in downtown Regina, learned that her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in September.

For Carol, whose neighbour’s daughter was also diagnosed with breast cancer in the last year, seeing so much attention given to a cause like the CBCF was admittedly a welcome sight.

“I’m very happy with the support that I’ve seen here tonight at the university,” Carol said. “To see so many people, young and old, supporting the cause – to buy a sweater or a 50/50 ticket – is really very comforting.

“It’s a very tough thing for everyone involved to deal with. To see everyone willing to, kind of, rally behind this great cause makes me feel very optimistic about the future, not just for my sister and my neighbour, but for everyone dealing with this disease.”

Ken, a former student at both the U of R and the U of S, echoed Carol’s sentiments.

“My mother passed away last year after a long battle with breast cancer,” Ken, who made sure to buy a pink t-shirt at the event, said. “It was so tough do deal with for everyone that was a part of her life, so I’ll always do whatever I can to help out this special cause. It makes me very proud to see that so many people seem to think the same way. It really is great, isn’t it?”

Perhaps Ken’s son, Quinton, who is admittedly indifferent to university basketball, said it best.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who wins or loses these basketball games, they’re just games,” the 12-year-old said. “What’s really important is having everyone rally together here to try to help a good cause.”

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