Pink and Orange: “It’s all about teamwork and community.”
— Coach Tanya Chaplin, Women’s Gymnastics, Pink-Out Gymnastics for Breast Cancer
Oregon State Gymnastics Coach Tanya Chaplin recalls the motivation she felt when a marketing director at Oregon State Athletics was diagnosed with cancer several years ago. That’s when defeating cancer became a cause for the program through its nationally recognized Pink Out Gymnastics event.
“We wanted an opportunity to use our event to bring awareness to the community for the fight that all of these survivors have been going through,” Chaplin said.
Oregon State women’s sports programs, including baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, and softball, plus footballhave embraced the causecombining to raise more than $3,300 for Project H.E.R. in 2013. The idea has also spread nationally to nearly 56 other colleges and partners looking to match Oregon State’s goals and objectives. Collegiate athletics at Southern Illinois, Colorado and Kansas State are following Oregon State’s example.
Chaplin said Pink Out has been a phenomenal thing for her student athletes.
“We get caught up in our own little worlds,” she said. “This brings a bigger picture to what life is all about. It’s wonderful for not only our athletes, but also for the department and program to give back.”
Pink Out Gymnastics is a special night for athletes, coaches and fans, she said.
“It allows us to go out and compete for a cause and bring awareness that although we’ve made strides, people are fighting every day for their lives,” Chaplin said.
At the event, gymnasts are paired with cancer survivors for the march out and introduction.
“It’s amazing how much these women inspire and touch their lives,” she said.
Everyone involved in the program is motivated by the cause.
“Through Pink Out, we are able to embrace the community and uplift people who are going through this fight,” Chaplin said. “It’s all about teamwork and community.”
Dates for OSU Gymnastics and Basketball will be announced soon.