The UWinnipeg Wesmen have announced it's women's basketball team will once again be taking part in the annual Shoot for the Cure campaign which will be held virtually this year, U Sports announced Wednesday. 

The 14th annual Shoot for the Cure will take place the week of Feb. 1-7 and aims to raise $44,000 through a variety of efforts from 48 U Sports women's basketball programs across the country. 

All members of the Wesmen women's team will participate in a virtual shoot, taking 100 free throws each at any hoop they can access safely, which might be a driveway, or a schoolyard or an indoor Nerf hoop if they choose. 

A video from Wesmen Basketball will be unveiled the week of the event with Wesmen athletes honouring those in their lives who have been impacted by cancer. 

Those looking to donate to the Wesmen cause can go to the Canadian Cancer Society's designated Shoot for the Cure website, click the "Donate" button, and contribute to the Wesmen team or to an individual. 

Organized since 2007 in collaboration with the U Sports Women's Basketball Coaches' Association, the fundraising initiative raises money for the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) – and other related local and provincial charities – to help fight breast cancer.

In lieu of on-campus activations and the traditional U Sports Final 8 cheque presentation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's fundraiser features several online member events. The activities include skills competitions, hair-cutting, trivia nights, auctions, fitness classes, skills clinics, fun walks/runs, eSports tournaments, raffles, 50/50 draws and re-airing of classic games – all held virtually.

In addition, members will join in promoting the initiative through their digital channels as part of a national marketing campaign in an effort to raise towards the cumulative 14-year target of $1.5 million.

"This has been a difficult year for U SPORTS student-athletes, with primarily online courses and no meaningful games to play. The fact that so many of them are still participating in the annual Shoot For The Cure initiative to do their part, together, to help those affected by this brutal disease is great to see," said Jeff Speedy, Shoot for the Cure Project Manager, and head coach of the UNB Reds. "Our goal of raising $44,000 would be a very modest goal most years, but this year, with a pandemic and no games to play to help us raise money, it may be a challenge. But, we have a long list of very dedicated organizers, student-athletes, and donors who are on board to try to make it happen."

All 48 U Sports women's basketball programs across the four conferences are slated to take part, marking a decade of full membership participation. Last year, over $106,000 was raised, topping the goal of $100,000 to mark the sport's centennial anniversary.

"Each year, funds raised through Shoot for the Cure support groundbreaking breast cancer research and a national support system to help people at every stage of their cancer journey," said Jane Parsons, Executive Vice President, Community Giving at the Canadian Cancer Society. "Breast cancer hasn't stopped being a life-changing and life-threatening disease during a global health pandemic and CCS has seen increased demand for many of our support programs, including our telephone and online programs. It's thanks to the generous contributions from Shoot for the Cure organizers, donors and participants that we're able to support Canadians affected by breast cancer, during the COVID-19 pandemic and year-round."


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