116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Female University of Northern Iowa Panther football fans will have the opportunity to learn a little more about the program, the facility and the players during the first-ever Power of Pink camp next month.
Joyce Barbatti, a local Panther and football fanatic, has teamed up with the UNI Athletic Department to offer the camp Sept. 2, which will include a wine and cheese reception with the coaches' wives, a facility tour, panel discussion with the coaches and players and an optional punt, pass and kick competition.
"Wear comfortable shoes and pants. It might be tough to get that ball kicked in heels," Barbatti said. "This is going to be so much fun."
Matt Harken, director of football operations, said the event will be perfect for everyone from the casual fan whose husband drags them to games, to the mom whose son is just starting to play and for the avid fan who just want a closer look at the field, coaches and players.
The players, who just started practice last week, don't even know they will be helping out, but Harken said they will be excited to participate.
"Our players really get into everything outside of football. We have a kids' clinic in the spring and our kids our awesome at that. Anything for the fans," he said.
He also hopes the coaches' wives will be able to relate to the women who attend.
"We couldn't do what we do without the support of our wives," Harken said. "It will be good for them to get involved and get them some recognition. And some of them will be able to say 'You know, we had to learn a little something about football, too, when we married these guys,'" Harken said.
Barbatti said schools like the University of Florida and St. Ambrose also have hosted similar events. When Coach Mark Farley came to her about hosting the event Barbatti was quick to agree.
"Coach Farley has always been so gracious with coming to my classes, it was nice to give a little back to him and the program," she said. Barbatti also teaches a Football 101 and 201 course at University Book and Supply every season.