Field Hockey Team Set to "Play Pink"

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (Oct. 24, 2008) - The Mount Holyoke College field hockey team has partnered with the Play 4 the Cure Foundation to raise awareness in the fight against breast cancer through the "Play Pink" initiative. "Play Pink" is a nationwide, unified effort by field hockey teams to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the field, across campuses, in communities and beyond.

"This is a great opportunity for us to recognize all the breast cancer survivors as well as those we've lost from breast cancer. I think we've all been affected in some way by this disease, and raising awareness and donating to the Susan G. Komen fund is the least we can do," said Mount Holyoke head coach Andy Whitcomb.

More than 150 teams, conference offices and other organizations are taking part in "Play Pink" during the month of October. October is the official Breast Cancer Awareness Month of the National Susan G. Komen Foundation. Since October is the height of the field hockey season, it is therefore appropriate that the Play 4 the Cure movement has declared within the field hockey community that October is Play 4 the Cure month as well.

Members of the Mount Holyoke team will be sporting pink t-shirts during their pre-game warm-ups at Saturday's home contest versus the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A pink ball will also be used during the match, which is slated to begin at 2:30 p.m. During the event, donations will be accepted, with all proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation for breast cancer awareness. Fans are encouraged to wear pink and contribute to research initiatives.

Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of death for all women and the leading overall cause of cancer death in women between the ages of 20 and 59. In the United States today, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes. Incidence in women has increased from one in 20 in 1960 to one in eight today.

The good news is that mortality rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment.

"Mount Holyoke College is pleased to join the Play 4 the Cure movement and the larger field hockey community across the nation to raise awareness about breast cancer. It is our hope that by joining this effort, we can increase awareness among the women of our community and contribute to continued cancer research and education," said Mount Holyoke Athletic Director Laurie Priest.

For more information about the "Play Pink" initiative, as well as the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, please visit Play 4 the Cure on the web at www.play4thecure.com.