Several sports teams have been getting involved in ‘Movember’, the month long campaign to raise awareness for men’s health, including testicular and prostate cancer, men’s mental health and suicide prevention.
The Movember Foundation is saving and improving men’s lives through projects focused on all of these issues.
Eddie Boyd, president of the men’s Gaelic football team, has taken on the role as the student ambassador for Movember at the university.
His job is to raise as much money as possible, whilst encouraging as many people as possible to also get involved.
So far the campaign is proving to be a resounding success.
As it stands, the University of Stirling is ranked third in the UK for the collective amount of money raised.
The figure currently stands at over thirteen-thousand pounds.
Boyd is passionate about the cause, especially on issues surrounding mental health and encouraging men to speak openly about any problems they are facing.
“More men have died in Northern Ireland from taking their own lives since the Good Friday Agreement, than were killed during The Troubles”
He said: “The issues that we are raising money and awareness for are not isolated. Everyone has been affected by them in some way or another.”
He also told me that more men have died in Northern Ireland from taking their own lives since the Good Friday Agreement, than were killed during the troubles – a shocking statistic.
Sports teams all over campus, from men’s rugby to cricket, have climbed onboard to support the worthwhile cause by taking part in a number of weird and wacky challenges along the way, as well as growing some terrible moustaches.
Daniel McCullough of the men’s rugby team told Brig: “As a team we have raised almost £10,000, and we are only halfway through the month. Everyone in the club has joined the page online to raise money.”
As of November 18, SURFC have now smashed the £10,000 landmark.
The team have set targets and incentives to encourage people to donate. You may or may not have seen a number of dyed blonde heads recently, and that is because once the team had raised £5,000, all members had to shave or dye their hair. The club’s freshers have also been making promotional videos to raise further awareness for the cause.
McCullough also added: “We have taken part in Movember the last two years now and it is something that we will continue to do.”
Cricket captain Elliot Rousen also spoke to Brig about why his team are getting involved in the campaign.
“Men’s health is something that’s often ignored or joked about, especially in a sports environment. All of us will, at some point, cross paths with someone who has mental health issues and at the cricket team we got fully behind the university’s initiative to raise awareness.”
He also added: “Personally I feel this culture of men having to be ‘ok’ all the time, isn’t right, and there should be more of a platform, and more socially accepted for men to talk more about mental health.”
Some students are making up for their almost non-existent moustaches by moving for Movember. Student ambassador for the charity Eddie Boyd has set himself a personal goal of running one hundred kilometres this month, so there are plenty of ways to get involved if growing facial hair is not an option.
There have also been a number of events set up in Stirling throughout the month to raise even more money for the foundation.
On November 19 there was a quiz night at Molly Malone’s pub in Stirling to raise money for the cause.
And culminating on November 28, there will be a 5k pub run starting at the University, followed by a Stirling Underground event at Meditteranea. Tickets are five pounds a head with the profits going to the Movember Foundation.
Sports President Caitlin Ormiston said: “I’m incredibly proud of all the sports teams who are taking part in Movember. It illustrates that here at Stirling, being part of a sports team is so much more than just playing matches on a Wednesday and our sports teams are leading by example whilst raising huge amounts of money for the Movember Foundation.”
Details of all the upcoming events can be found on the Facebook here.