Adorned in pink, football fans gathered at the Rogers Centre on October 14, 2012 for the CFL’s second annual Pink Game in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. With only five games remaining, the Toronto Argonauts took on their rivals the Montreal Allouettes in an exciting game that had players and fans thinking about more than just football.

As the fight for the ball got underway fans were reminded not only of the struggle unfolding on the field, but of the battles fought by women every day. In support of women’s cancers, Argos fans cheered on their team decked out in pink garb flapping complementary pink rally towels, while players sported pink gear on their hands and feet.

Halftime featured a special performance by a collection of Argo alumni cheerleaders from the 1980’s, 1990’s and 2000’s, bringing a uniquely female touch to an otherwise predominantly masculine sport. Their halftime routine was an empowering reminder for women of all ages, touch by cancer directly or not, of the unique spirit and sportsmanship unique to women.

The strength with which women continue to meet the challenges of cancer was celebrated in the included performances, in the early years of this annual initiative. After the players cleared the field and the stadium slowly became quite, a special post-game event in its inaugural year headed by A Celebration of Women Foundation, proudly supported by TWE, took place in the VIP section. The event included male and female speakers close to the foundation sharing their stories of survival and inspiration, with an overall aim to empower others.

The messages of enlightenment and strength shared that afternoon continue to ring in my ears. Cancer does not discriminate, and the entire day served as a reminder to everyone that awareness of women’s cancers is not simply the responsibility of those already fighting, but of those watching from the sidelines as well, regardless of age or gender.

Fans, players, and supporters alike were united in an effort to help raise awareness, by just attending. And if everyone simply left knowing breast cancer affects 1 in 9 Canadian women in their lifetime, they left knowing more than when they came. Despite a loss by the Argonauts, they engaged their sport in battles on and off the field, during a month devoted to breast cancer awareness.

Joining in an effort to raise awareness for women’s cancers this October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is an effort that can even see two rivals come together. – “CFL going pink in October to help tackle cancer” – “Toronto Argos Face Montreal Allouettes as…”

Written by: Christie Van Tol

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