By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal
Intramural sports at Texas A&M University-Commerce can become competitive, particularly when fraternities and sororities test their prowess on the gridiron or baseball diamond. But wins and losses will be in the background next week as A&M-Commerce faculty and staff compete in the first Big Pink Volleyball Tournament at the Morris Recreation Center.
The matches are played with a large, bright pink volleyball four feet in diameter, according to Assistant Director Intramurals & Club Sports Kari Osborne.
“It’s ridiculous and amazing at the same time,” she said. “It’s for any skill level and any age, and the tournament is open to A&M-Commerce students and faculty, but community members can come and watch the event and enjoy the festivities.”
Big Pink Volleyball began at Western Illinois University, where Osborne received her graduate degree. Since it was started in 2002, the event has raised more than $115,000 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure and other breast cancer research organizations.
“I participated in the event while in grad school, and GAs who go into the field of campus recreation spread the event after they graduate,” Osborne said. “It’s now hosted by 20 universities throughout the nation.”
The tournament features teams of six competing against each other, although as few as four can play on a team according to Osborne. Teams are encouraged to contributed $5 per team member, and the money raised will be donated to the Bridge Breast Network of Dallas. Registration officially ends today, although the Morris Recreation Center will let teams register until the end of Friday, Osborne said. The goal is to raise $1,000.
“They provide treatment for underinsured and uninsured women in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, including Hunt County, free of charge,” she said.
The kickoff event is scheduled for Oct. 16. and will begin at 6 p.m. with a “celebrity” volleyball match with members of the A&M-Commerce administration participating. There will also be a green screen photo booth where individuals can get their pictures made against a pink or blue background. Sodexo is one of the cosponsors, according to Osborne, and they will be providing some refreshments. A wall of remembrance will allow attendees to honor loved ones who have passed away or are currently fighting breast cancer, according to Osborne.
“We will play matches until the Rec Center closes,” she said. “We will have two games going at once in the gym.”
The event is scheduled to continue Wednesday night, and time has been scheduled for Thursday night if necessary. For more information, contact Osborne at Kari.Osborne@tamuc.edu or 903-468-3175.