from Mike at the South Carolina Rugby Examiner:
(Columbia, SC) —More than 200 athletes are coming together in Columbia, SC on June 27 to play on one team with one opponent—breast cancer.
Saturday June 27, the Columbia Olde Grey Rugby Football Club is hosting Ta-Tas Sevens, a seven-on-seven rugby tournament at Owen's Field in downtown Columbia, to raise funds to be for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
More than 20 women's and men's teams from all over the southeast are planning a trip to the capital of the Palmetto State to play rugby, and to help raise money and awareness for the cause.
"Columbia's Ta-Tas Sevens Tournament embodies the strong will of women as athletes and as a collective force against cancer," said Amy Catalino, President of the Columbia Bombshells Women's Rugby Club.
"Rugby is a game of never-ending support and teamwork, just like every woman’s battle with breast cancer. I'm proud that Columbia Rugby is a part of that support on and off the field."
This is the second year that the Columbia Olde Grey and Columbia Bombshells have teamed up for this cause with the tournament. In 2008, 16 teams came together and raised thousands of dollars.
"Ta-Tas Sevens is another great event that will allow our sport and our members to positively impact the community in which we live," Olde Grey President Matthew Foxworth said.
"Breast cancer is not just a woman's issue—it hurts all of us. While the majority of those who physically suffer are female, we all lose at the hands of this devastating disease. This is just our way of saluting those who have gone through this and to try and limit those who have to in the future."
In 2009, Ta-Tas Sevens will feature senior men's and women's sides, and also players from the college ranks.
The University of South Carolina men's and women's side will show their support, as well several other college teams. The cause is one especially close to the lady Gamecocks. Last semester, the team rallied around a teammate whose mother was locked in battle with this disease.
"Women young and old need to be aware and rally to this fight," said Kelsey Sharkey, President of USC Women's Rugby. "As in rugby, the obstacle of cancer has to overcome with all of us staying strong and working as a team; we have learned that this year on and off the field."
The name, Ta-Tas Sevens, came from working with the clothing line "Save the Ta-Tas" for the 2008 tournament. Seven-on-seven rugby is a faster, less-physical version of the full game that is mainly played during the hot summer months. As opposed to the 15-on-15 full game, sevens rugby has multiple, quick-fire games in a day but with the halves only lasting seven minutes.
The Columbia Olde Grey was established in 1972, and has been representing the city on and off the rugby field since then. They compete in regional and national rugby competitions all year round, and recently played host to a national tournament that brought dozens of top-level sides, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in economic impact, to the region.
As a community partner, Olde Grey has raised funds for several charitable organizations including the BCRF, Toys for Tots, The United Way and a local pediatric cancer center.
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