March Madness

March is my favorite month for a lot of reasons: it’s my birthday month, spring starts to breeze through, it’s Easter-ish, and I get to do a March Madness bracket, making my picks solely on which team name I like better. Yup, that’s how I choose. Except when it comes to Wisconsin, which will always make it to my Final Four.

Of course in all that NCAA hoopla (ha, ha, get it?), sometimes we forget there’s a women’s tourney too. This year, Denver is hosting the NCAA Women’s Final Four, March 30–April 3, culminating in the championship game, April 3 at the Pepsi Center. Of course the games will be the highlight, but along with that, there’s also a ton of family-friendly activities, many of which are FREE!

These events offer a great opportunity to see elite athletes up close, take part in some fun activities, and maybe even inspire a future generation of players.

A few that I’m interested in include:

Super Saturday at the PepsiCenter – March, 31, free event and parking

Watch the Women’s Final Four teams practice, get autographs from the Women’s Final Four student-athletes and coaches, watch a Battle of the Bands competition featuring pep bands from the four institutions displaying their school spirit and see the WBCA High School All-America Game featuring the nation’s most gifted female high school basketball players.

4Kay® Run Hydrated by POWERADE ZERO – March, 31, 9 am

Run or walk the 4K (2.49 miles) course which begins at Civic Center Park. Held in honor of the late North Carolina State University head women’s basketball coach Kay Yow. The race benefits cancer research through the Kay Yow Cancer Fund®. The first 1,500 registrants will receive an event t-shirt donated by Nike™. All participants will be eligible to win prizes and awards. Online registration is $20, with on-site registration $25. The first 1,500 registrants will receive a 4Kay Run T-shirt donated by Nike.

POWERADE® NCAA® Youth Clinics – March 31, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm

Open to youth ages 8 to 16. Participants will receive instruction from NCAA coaches and student-athletes and get valuable information on fitness, healthy lifestyles and sportsmanship. Clinics take place at ThunderRidge High School and South High School. All participants will receive a FREE t-shirt and Wilson® Sporting Goods Co. mini-basketball.

Mile High Dribble – April 1, 11:30 am

Youth 18 and under will DRIBBLE through Downtown Denver from Civic Center Park to Tourney Town. The first 2,500 participants receive an event basketball and t-shirt, donated by the NCAA and Wilson® Sporting Goods Co. Come early (pre-registration check-in starts at 10 am) to enjoy the FREE entertainment, activities and fun! Tourney Town will welcome dribblers and fans with live music and performances throughout the afternoon.

Volunteer For Women’s Final Four!

The DLOC is seeking volunteers who will give an enthusiastic and warm welcome to guests visiting Denver, as well as contribute to the general atmosphere and excitement surrounding the Women’s Final Four. All Women’s Final Four volunteers must by 18 years of age no later than Sunday, March 25, 2012. Register to volunteer at https://2012ncaawff.theregistrationsystem.com/en/1200

Visit NCAA.com/finalfour for ticket, event and volunteer information.

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