2009 Volley for the Cure
Oct. 22, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas -- Ans Haveman came all the way from the Netherlands to experience Volley for the Cure with the Texas Longhorns on Wednesday night.
She just didn’t know it.
Havemen actually came to Austin to visit her niece, Nienke Splint, and Splint has a friend who is a Texas Volleyball season ticket holder. When he offered the tickets, Splint said sure. Only later, when Splint learned that Wednesday night’s match against Missouri was part of UT Athletics’ Horns for Hope campaign to raise breast cancer awareness in the community, did she realize the offer was “perfect.”
Haveman has been a breast cancer survivor for 30 years.
“It’s been such a long time ago, that sometimes I don’t always think about it,” Haveman said. “But being here tonight, it was very emotional.”
A crowd of more than 3,000 turned Gregory Gym into one pink mass. The student section was packed, and rowdy as ever, but pink pom poms and pink chest paint replaced the traditional burnt orange.
The second-ranked Longhorns dismissed of Missouri in a decisive sweep victory, but for a night, they allowed their effort to speak for a greater cause. The Susan G. Komen Foundation distributed informational packets, and the whole evening was about understanding breast cancer, and what it does.
It’s a disease that affects everyone, as one in eight women has been diagnosed or will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
Haveman said that college sports are nothing in the Netherlands like they are here -- especially at Texas. The volume of the arena surprised her, and even some of the announcement s were hard to understand.
Luckily, pink is its own universal language.
“Awareness,” Haveman said. “And that’s incredibly important.”