'Commit to be Fit' connects exercise with breast cancer research donations

Money collected through October

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Women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell comes to Olivia Wolf’s table at the “Commit to be Fit” kickoff Monday. The program aims to promote health and raise money and awareness for breast cancer research.

Students working out at the gym this month could be helping more than just themselves.

In support of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, UNC’s Student Recreation Center is hosting “Commit to be Fit.”

An event Monday kicked off the initiative, which will last from Oct. 4 to 28 and will raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

For four weeks, students can work out on Rams Head Recreation Center’s pink treadmill or the Student Recreation Center’s pink elliptical, both made by Cybex International, to generate donations.

Cybex will donate 10 cents for every mile put on the treadmill and 20 cents for every mile put on the elliptical.

“It’s great to work with people because they are helping make a donation to help other people,” said Sylvia Hatchell, UNC women’s basketball head coach, at the event.

Hatchell has been an outspoken advocate for breast cancer research for many years.

She also said she would bring the women’s basketball team to work out on the machines.

“It’s a win-win situation,” she said. “I get my team in better shape, and we raise more money to donate.”

Attendees at the event were welcomed by pink and white balloons, refreshments and information about breast cancer and personal health.

Debra Murray, an exercise and sport science professor who attended the event as a breast cancer survivor, stressed that a healthy lifestyle for young people would pay off in old age.

“This is so important, for people to be active every day and to have a program for supporting more women to be educated and involved,” she said.

Students interested in joining “Commit to be Fit” can register in room 101 of the SRC.

The fee is $10 to participate in the fundraiser, and at the end of the month, participants who meet the program’s goals can choose to get a refund on their money or donate it.

“Sometimes it’s not easy to motivate yourself to exercise,” said Lauren Mangili, director of “Commit to be Fit.”

“If you need more motivation, that’s what we’re here for.”

Mangili said students can use the cause as way to encourage themselves to go to the gym more often.

And for individuals currently battling breast cancer, UNC’s “Get Real & Heel” program is an outlet.

The program provides North Carolina breast cancer patients with cancer treatment management in order to increase life expectancy and quality of life.

Deanna Babcock, a graduate student in exercise and sport science, said the program will help in both the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

“Sometimes (students) take life for granted and take health for granted,” she said.

Contact the University Editor at udesk@unc.edu.

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