When the Alabama women’s swimming and diving team gets into the pool on Friday evening they will be swimming for more than just a win. All dressed in pink, the team will be representing a cause that is much bigger than themselves. They will be doing so in an effort to raise awareness for breast cancer, a disease that affects roughly one- in-eight U.S. women.
The Power of Pink events began in 2004 under former gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson as a way to raise awareness for breast cancer among students and fans. Since 2009 these events have spread to all women’s sports teams at the University, bringing more awareness in the community.
“It’s obviously for a good cause and I think it goes along with our general philosophy of trying to make a difference in the community,” swimming and diving coach Dennis Pursley said. “Our philosophy is its more than just about us and the more we give back the better.”
The Power of Pink meet will be held on Friday, Sept. 30th at 4 p.m. inside the Alabama Aquatic Center. The Crimson Tide will host Vanderbilt and West Florida.
Unfortunately, cancer is not a topic that the team is unfamiliar with. According to team captain Mia Nonnenberg, there are a lot of members on the team who have been affected by cancer so it is something close to everyone’s heart.
“It is good to do something bigger than ourselves within our sport,” Nonnenberg said.
This season will be the first time that the Power of Pink events get underway with the swimming and diving team’s Power of Pink swim meet. According to diver Kara Fredlock it is better to have the Power of Pink meet right before breast cancer awareness month as opposed to later in the season which has been done in recent seasons.
Being able to help out and raise awareness is something that is fun for the athletes.
“I think everybody really enjoys it,” Fredlock said. “It is a topic that hits close to home for a lot of us so I think everybody gets really excited about it.”
Pursley believes that events such as the Power of Pink can help the team become more unified as a group.
“If you are spending part of your life helping others you are going to feel better about yourself, and I think there are some carry over effects to a team environment knowing that the team you are a part of is committed to those types of things,” Pursley said.