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Syd Cole stands with a volleyball in her hands while a row of her teammates stand behind her.

Women’s Walk Gives a Venue for Student-Athletes to Support Their Fans

While you walk with friends and family, UNC’s Division I student-athletes cheer you on, just as you do at all their games.

If there is one thing the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) likes to do, it is celebrate their students. 

Every April since 2009 the UNC community puts on their tennis shoes to support female student-athletes at the Annual Women’s Walk. A critical fundraising event for UNC’s women’s athletic programs, the event is a fun way for everyone to get involved in a fun, family-friendly environment. Instead of fans cheering on the sidelines, the roles are reversed and the student-athletes from all the university’s athletic programs, both men’s and women’s, cheer on the participants. 

“We go to the same spot every year and just cheer people on. I like seeing different people and new faces every year and the support growing, it's just so fun,” said Syd Cole, ’23. 

Syd Cole is a setter on the volleyball team in her fifth year of eligibility studying Elementary Education as a graduate student. A Coloradan hailing from Parker, staying close to family was part of the draw for Cole to attend UNC. That, and her passion for teaching. 

Watching her mother and grandmother teach throughout her childhood, even having her mother as her fourth-grade math teacher, Cole knew what she was getting into when she decided to pursue Education. Even now, Cole’s mother will enlist her help grading tests when she’s home. 

After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, Cole rolled right into her master’s program at UNC. It was an easy decision for her to make. 

“It’s a great teaching school, so the master’s program fits really well with volleyball and what I want to do. And I just wasn't ready to leave my team yet. I had another year of eligibility, so I decided to take it and play one more year,” said Cole. 

Cole has enjoyed her time playing volleyball at UNC, her teammates are another family. Living with six of those teammates, they’re basically siblings.  

Along with her teammates, the supporters who come out to their games are one of the best parts of Cole’s experience on the team.  

“It's just awesome knowing that there's so much support for women's sports now. The community is all behind us and at our games. We have Rosemary [Fri, M.A. ’61], who was the first volleyball coach here, and she comes to things. It's just so much support,” said Cole. 

Community is integral to UNC as a university, and it is what the whole event is about. Bears coming out to walk together to show our student-athletes that they are valued. The athletics programs all come together on the sidelines, like their fans do for them, to show how much it means to them that they support them at Women’s Walk and all their athletic competitions. 

With women’s sports garnering a larger spotlight in the U.S., the Bear community has always been right beside their female student-athletes. Their support is unwavering and extends beyond the field, the court and into Greeley. 

“Our support for every game is full, it's fun knowing all these people are coming here to support us and be there for us. Then, out in public we’ll go to the grocery store, and they'll recognize us. It's just a really nice community to be a part of,” said Cole. 

Join our community, don’t miss out on connecting with UNC coaches and student-athletes from every sport, walk alongside the Bear community this Saturday, April 13, at the 2024 Women’s Walk to show your support for UNC’s women’s athletic programs. There will be friends — Klawz and dogs — to walk with as you're cheered on by our coaches and student-athletes. There will also be plenty of activities for kids to interact with student-athletes during breakfast in Bank of Colorado Arena and along the walking route.

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