The Kicks Against Breast Cancer Pins have become a symbol of a joint effort with soccer to raise awareness for breast cancer.
April 23, 2009
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois soccer team will participate in a unique event to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research and treatment, as the Illini join six other midwestern universities as part of the Inaugural Soldier Field Kicks Against Breast Cancer collegiate soccer invitational on Sunday, April 26. The Orange and Blue kick off the event against Northwestern at 8:30 a.m. and wrap up the day facing Notre Dame at 5 p.m.
"This event is great for this program in just about every possible way," Illini head coach Janet Rayfield said. "It's a wonderful charitable cause started by a long time friend of mine, Louise Waxler. The KICKS cause provides an awareness for all the young women in the many college programs that will participate, as well as the young girls that will participate in clinics and come as spectators. On top of all those positive elements, we will be challenged on the field by both Northwestern and Notre Dame to end our spring season and see just where we are heading into the summer."
In addition to Illinois and its opponents, the field includes Northern Illinois, Wisconsin, Marquette and DePaul. Players and teams will also contribute off the field by accepting a challenge to raise money, on a per team basis, to help in the fight against breast cancer by selling KICKS merchandise (i.e., t-shirts, pins, balls, and hats), and other on-campus activities prior to the tournament.
Founded by Waxler, The Kicks Against Breast Cancer Tournament honors the memory of Claudia Mayer, who died of breast cancer at the age of 47 in 1996. A former alumnae and the first ever soccer All-American for the Illinois program, Emily Brown, is heading up the event for soldier field. The KICKS tournaments are held on an annual basis in April of each year attracting top collegiate soccer teams from throughout the United States.
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the event. Admission includes access to the Soldier Field Fan Zone, which gives fans of all ages the opportunity to interact with coaches, players, sponsors and spokespersons. A "Soccer Moms" clinic will also be held to teach the basics of soccer and provide inside tips to parents, aspiring coaches and players. Proceeds will go to Children's Memorial Research Center of Chicago and the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center.