Wodonga Basketball Association hosts Pink Sports Day for breast cancer awareness

COLLECTING FOR A CAUSE: Clare Gransden, 15, Daniel Gransden, 13, and Joel Saines, 16, show their colours at Wodonga Sports and Leisure Centre. Picture: MARK JESSER

COLLECTING FOR A CAUSE: Clare Gransden, 15, Daniel Gransden, 13, and Joel Saines, 16, show their colours at Wodonga Sports and Leisure Centre. Picture: MARK JESSER

RELAXED uniform rules and some colourful referees will attract attention as a Border sporting group takes the court for a good cause.

Wodonga Basketball Association will participate in Pink Sports Day as part of Breast Cancer Network Australia’s awareness month.

The competition is raising money to support the network throughout October, but this week was likely to include the most pink.

Referee co-ordinator Rebecca Gransden said many of the referees would wear pink shirts while players were encouraged to display pink ribbons, socks or similar.

“Even if it’s pink shorts, we’ll let them get away with it for a week,” she said.

“We’ve got a few parents in our association that are going through breast cancer at the moment.

“So that was an inspiration to choose breast cancer awareness.”

President Tina Palermo said referees were part of every basketball game, so the association decided to use this to promote the project.

“The referees have really got on board and I think it’s going to be a real competition to see who can wear the most pink,” Ms Palermo said.

“I think we’ll see some pretty crazy hairstyles.”

Wodonga Basketball Association has about 42 active referees aged from 13 years up to adults in their 50s.

Mrs Gransden said some of the younger males had even suggested novelty breasts could be worn during the pink week.

“I said, ‘I don’t know that would be appropriate, but I love your enthusiasm’,” she said with a laugh.

“But look, the refs are having a good time, we’ve got pink ladies around in the refs room and they’ve been going around rattling tins.”

Sporting officials are often overlooked or only noticed for the wrong reasons, but Mrs Gransden believed this week could have a positive impact.

“In a way, I’m hoping it will draw attention a bit to the refs (with people) to go, ‘Oh look, they’re supporting a good cause’,” she said.

The association wanted to raise about $1000 throughout the month and planned to create an annual event if this project succeeded.

Ms Palermo said the awareness campaign fitted into other association goals, such as increasing girls’ participation in basketball and establishing an all-abilities program.

“We would love to be more community focused, trying to back some other organisations if we can,” she said.

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