Naperville North and Naperville Central Return to Raise Cancer Awareness

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Naperville North and Naperville Central girls swimming and diving matched up in the pool, while coming together to raise awareness and fundraise for Cal’s Angels and pediatric and breast cancer. Learn more in this Off the Field presented by Advantage Acura.

Rivals Go Gold

On September 21st, 2021, the Naperville North and Naperville Central swim teams did more than race in the pool for a cross town classic, but each swimmer made a splash for a good cause, hoping to spread awareness.

“This is our third annual go gold meet and it’s in support of pediatric cancer because the government research is underfunded for pediatric cancer awareness and we the have the meet to raise awareness for it.”

A fundraiser that started in 2019 after Naperville Resident Ryan Collins was diagnosed with Pediatric Cancer and that was also known as a Go Gold meet where each swimmer wore a yellow swim cap for Cal’s Angels. September is Pediatric Cancer awareness month and many of the local schools wear gold at various events throughout the month to increase awareness of the disease and Cal’s Angels.

Return of Crowds and Increased Awareness

For this go around the two teams also came together to support breast cancer awareness after the passing Deedee Voss when she lost her battle to cancer. A big crowd was also in attendance this year to support the Huskies and the RedHawks after no fan attendance last season because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“It was definitely a change in atmosphere I feel that last year we had support but it was more of longer distance but we still had that support and this year it was really exciting that everyone came in to watch us race.”

A Cause Bigger than Competition

The event kicked off with an announcement by Grace Malinger and the rest of her Central captains spreading awareness about Pediatric Cancer. From there it was time to jump in to the competition. At the end of the day after the winners were decided in the pool, each swimmer was positive that the fundraiser itself was a success.

“It shows that were not just rivals and were two teams in a city that’s like not too big and yeah we’re just here to support each other as much as competing. It’s so nice that we were able to accomplish this through a meet and everybody was so supportive, and I know the captains put a lot of time into planning all this and so did the other team it’s just so great to have everybody together and accomplish something like this and this is such a great meet and event it’s so much fun.”

While the teams continue to spread awareness for Cal’s Angels on and off the pool deck, this was an occasion that everyone hopes to bring back for future matchups.

“I think it’s such a great event and such a great idea that we should keep this as a tradition.”

Reporting for Naperville Sports Weekly, I’m Patrick Codo.