The Seton Hall softball team held a breast cancer awareness month-themed practice in mid-October, bringing attention to the disease through the team’s social media pages.
The idea for the event was inspired by the connections some of the players have to people with the disease, head coach Paige Smith said.
“Women, in general, need to raise awareness because statistics are showing that we’re pretty likely to be touched by it in some way whether personal or in our close circle,” Smith said.
Because breast cancer has hit close to home for many softball players, including sophomore Taylor Soanes, the team felt it was necessary to put together this practice.
“It was very important to me that we did this practice because my mom has been affected so it was close to my heart and I liked seeing that my teammates had my back on something that I believe in and I know they believe in as well,” Soanes said.
Throughout the years, the team has always found ways to donate and raise awareness for this disease.
The idea to host this practice in pink shirts originally came from something known as the Think Pink Game that the team has done in the past, Smith said. The players wore pink shirts without numbers and gave their opponents the opportunity to do so as well.
In years past, usually during the month of October, the recreation center has also done spin classes in which the proceeds were donated to breast cancer.
Smith said she would cancel plans that the team had during that week and require them to sign up for a class to make sure her team was putting resources behind causes they believe in.
Every October, the team finds a cause to support, and most of the time it is breast cancer, Smith said.
She said she felt that the pandemic has been a good time to raise awareness for this disease because it helps her team focus on how they can uplift others.
“I think anything to take distraction off the current state of the world is good, and if you can put that energy into something that is going to lift other people, that is a time spent well,” Smith said.
The practice has also been widely promoted on social media by the team, particularly on Twitter and Instagram, because they felt it was a way to show their support and reach out to people who have been affected.
“Support from family and friends is the biggest thing when you’re going through times like this and you have cancer because it helps you through the recovery process and the battle of it,” Soanes said.
One thing that Smith said she hopes her athletes took away from the practice is that sport is always bigger than the player, especially with the absence of games.
If another awareness event comes about, Soanes said that she hopes her team has the same expectations of going all out and wants to continue planning more events like this.
Ashley Howard can be reached at email@example.com.