Women's Basketball Hosts Think Pink and NGWSD, Men's Ice Hockey Set for Pride Game

Women's Basketball Hosts Think Pink and NGWSD, Men's Ice Hockey Set for Pride Game

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball and men's ice hockey teams will host special awareness games on Saturday, with the women slated to play their annual Think Pink contest while celebrating National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), while the men host their annual Hockey is for Everyone Pride Game.

Women's basketball takes on American International College on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in the Ross Sports Center, and all girls and women will be admitted for free as part of NGWSD. The Purple Knights will hold a postgame autograph session in the lobby, while fans can be on the lookout for special giveaways and a photo backdrop where they are encouraged to take photos of themselves dressed as their favorite Saint Michael's student-athletes.

Fans in attendance are also reminded to wear pink in support of the fight against cancer, as the Saint Michael's women will don pink T-shirts and shoe laces to show their support during the Think Pink game. Cancer survivors will be admitted for free to the contests that day, as will people currently battling the disease and a caregiver.

Donations to the American Cancer Society (ACS) will be accepted, as the Purple Knights' goal is to raise money to help fund research, create awareness, fight back, and show support for all who are affected by the disease. Patrons who donate will receive a ribbon signifying their support, with all funds raised during the games going directly to the ACS. For more information, or if you would like to show your support with a donation, please contact women's basketball head coach Shannon Bollhardt at (802) 654-2503, or sbollhardt@smcvt.edu. For survivors and those currently afflicted who plan to attend, please contact Bollhardt to ensure your free admittance.

The College is taking part in the 34th annual NGWSD, an event that began in 1987 as a day to remember late Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman for her athletic achievements and her work to assure equality for women's sports. Since that time, NGWSD has evolved into a day to acknowledge the past and recognize current sports achievements, the positive influence of sports participation, and the continuing struggle for equality and access for women in sports. For more information about NGWSD, visit ngwsd.org.

Men's ice hockey is hosting its annual Hockey is for Everyone Pride Game on Saturday against Saint Anselm College at 4 p.m. at Cairns Arena in South Burlington, following in the footsteps of the NHL's Hockey is for Everyone month that supports "any teammate, coach or fan who brings heart, energy and passion to the rink. We believe all hockey programs - from professionals to youth organizations - should provide a safe, positive and inclusive environment for players and families regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation and socio-economic status."

As part of the event, the Purple Knights will use Pride Tape, which supports LGBTQ youth outreach initiatives and proudly supports the NHL's mission to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities, with allies showing their support for teammates, coaches and fans in the LGBTQ community by wrapping their sticks with the rainbow-adorned tape. The Purple Knights, who were a driving force in the College being so well-represented during the Pride Vermont Parade and Festival in Burlington during September, have also been inspired by the You Can Play Project, which is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation and/or gender identity. You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, and only by what they contribute to the sport or their team's success.

For more information, visit pridetape.com, nhl.com/community/hockey-is-for-everyone and youcanplayproject.org.