Clarion, Pa.- Clarion University’s Women United, of the women and gender studies department, hosted a flag football game at Memorial Stadium’s second field on Friday, Oct. 23.
The three-hour game began at 3 and ended at 6 p.m. The fifth of six scheduled awareness moments for “Pink & Purple Week,” this breast cancer and domestic violence-themed activity encouraged students to peacefully engage in its organized game in a way that celebrates the fighter within.
Zeta Tau Alpha’s pink ribbon sashes reminded the participating players to “think pink” and use flags instead of contact throughout the event.
Sounds of the first field’s practice echoed into the second grassy lawn’s muscled effort to fight for a chance at victory. It was unclear who had scored more points over the other, as members of either team were largely indistinguishable from the next.
Those who found a glimpse of the action from the sideline carried with them a special layer of appreciation that hit home. Many of the spectators were bundled in their own concoction of magenta, incorporating rubbery skinned sweaters and windbreakers to keep warm. It came as no surprise that some members of the watching crowd happened to be survivors as well.
The game on Memorial Stadium’s second outlasted the ones practiced by the school’s actual varsity squad. In fact, the flag football recruits took fewer breaks in between plays than those practicing for the next official university game.
When the first field nesting the eagles disbanded for the day, there were a fair number of curious students who wanted to see the other game that had been going for a solid two hours. University players joined the survivors near the touchdown marker toward the opponent’s side bleachers.
It was clear to all who remained for the full three hours that it did not matter who had won. Most seemed to rejoice the outlet of awareness, and every touchdown, regardless of who scored, was cheered all around the field.
Pink and Purple Week also sported special events every day of the week starting with a bake sale on Monday that raised $150 for awareness.
There was a breast cancer awareness lecture on Tuesday, a domestic violence balloon release on Wednesday and bra decorating on Thursday.
Flag football was the last event for the month to engage awareness about domestic violence and breast cancer, and Clarion’s students learned a lot throughout the month of October.