The Cal Golden Bear men and the Pacific Tigers will face off at Berkeley’s Spieker Aquatics Center on Wednesday, but the meet will have a message much bigger than the times in the pool (though swim fans will certainly be excited to see the defending champs from Cal in their traditional dual debut).
This meet will be a one-of-a-kind Pink Out meet, with the goal to turn the entire event as pink as possible to raise awareness for breast cancer research. That means caps, t-shirts for the fans, and anything else that can be turned pink will be. Admission to the meet is free, though donations are being accepted for the Edith Sanford foundation – a new player in the cancer research game founded by billionaire Denny Sanford.
This meet is not all about awareness, though. The event will also be the fulfillment of a promise made by Arena to donate $20,000 to the same foundation in honor of the first World Record broken in 2012: that swum by Dana Vollmer in the 100 fly at the Olympic Games. Even though Vollmer is a Speedo-sponsored athlete, Arena agreed to make a $20,000 donation even if the first World Record wasn’t by an Arena athlete (it would have been $40,000 if it were).
For Dave Durden and his Golden Bears, as well as first-year coach Peter Richardson and his Pacific Tigers, this meet will be a once-in-a-lifetime moment to reach out to their student-athletes, and empower them at the possibilities of acting for the greater good. That is a lesson that is invaluable, and kudos to both squads for participating in what should be an amazing event.
Following this meet, that should surely be emotional, the Bears will again recede to training before they welcome in Wisconsin on November 3rd.