University of Delaware
UD and Towson students are preparing for the annual Pigskin Pass, a football relay event to benefit Special Olympics in Delaware and Maryland.

Nov. 2: Pigskin Pass

UD, Towson students prepare for annual Pigskin Pass to benefit Special Olympics


9:17 a.m., Oct. 23, 2013--For the past seven years, the University of Delaware and Towson University have participated in a special charitable event that works to raise money for Special Olympics. That event, the Pigskin Pass, will feature its eighth iteration in early November.

On the day the two Colonial Athletic Association rivals play football, the Pigskin Pass has student-athletes from one school carry a special football and run to a point halfway between the two universities. There, they meet runners from the other school and hand off the football, while the other student-athletes finish the second half of the run.

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The run, 58 miles in total, has its halfway mark in Aberdeen, Md. On Saturday, Nov. 2, the day the Blue Hens travel to Towson to take on the Tigers, student-athletes at UD will start the run. Beginning at the 50-yard line at Delaware Stadium at 6:30 a.m., they will run the 29 miles to Festival Park in Aberdeen. 

Around 11:30, Delaware mascot YoUDee will give the game ball to the Towson mascot, Doc. Towson student-athletes will then run the last half of the relay, arriving at midfield at Towson’s Unitas Stadium shortly before the 7 p.m. kickoff.

Delaware junior Jillian Meyers, a member of the volleyball team and vice president of the Student Athlete Advisory Council, is in charge of marketing for the fundraising event. The Pigskin Pass, she said, is a great way of helping Special Olympics both by making people aware of it and by raising money.

“I’ve worked with Special Olympics at various places at home and I thought it was just great that SAAC is partnering with them,” Meyers said. “I love working with other people, being a part of that, being able to share something that I enjoy with others.”

More than $168,000 has been raised as part of this event since it began in 2006. Meyers said Delaware does not have a specific goal but would like to collect more money than Towson and top the $14,311 University students raised last year. 

The event is one of the biggest ways University student-athletes support Special Olympics, she said.

In 2012, 277 athletes ran on the part of Delaware. Though only student-athletes can run, others can take part in the sendoff and transfer ceremonies and can donate money.

Athletes from the Special Olympics will be present at the game, and during a break in the action, representatives from the Maryland and Delaware chapters of Special Olympics will be given checks for the money raised in this year’s pass.

The university that wins the football game will be honored with a trophy to be presented during a basketball game between the two schools. Towson won the game in 2006 and 2012, while Delaware won the five meetings in between those years.

Article by Matthew Bittle

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