ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – Here’s an opportunity to learn about football and benefit cancer research in the process. The University of Michigan Women’s Football Academy takes place on Saturday.

People will be able to hang out with U-M coaches and learn the game. Cheryl Soper, who has participated in the past, said the academy is great for women who want to be able to share her boyfriend or husband’s the love of the game.

“It’s geared specifically towards women, so they get to learn all about the rules of the game, how the coaches break down film and what each position does. You get to rotate around through all the different coaching staff and learn what its like to carry a ball as a running back,” Soper said.

Soper said she learned many things she did not know about football.

“I learned that in the huddle, everybody has assigned places, and I never really knew that. I thought when you huddle up, you just kind of come in and get close to the quarter back. But, everybody’s got an assigned spot,” Soper said.

Women get to learn the ins and outs of Michigan Football from the coaching staff, including new Head Coach Brady Hoke. They will also participate in various hands-on experiences, such as drills on offense, defense, passing, blocking and kicking.

The day-long academy, now in its 13th year, costs $125 – $50 of which is tax-deductible. Participants are required to raise an additional $200 or more to support the U-M Cancer Center. Registration is on a first come, first served basis.

Event proceeds support initiatives within the Cancer Center’s Patient and Family Support Services Program, which offers programs including complementary therapies, financial assistance services, nutrition counseling, psych oncology services and fertility counseling.

Since its creation in 1999, the program has helped more than 15,000 cancer patients and their families.

For more information, visit


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