Hull University Students’ Union (HUSU) sports teams and societies, and their supporters, have raised a staggering £20,000 for the charity Movember.
From moustache-themed quizzes to FIFA tournaments and sponsored walks, the students have consistently broken their fundraising targets at the same time as increasing awareness around men’s health.
Movember, started in 2003, has been tackling the health crisis that is affecting millions of men across the world. They die six years earlier than women on average, and account for 75% of suicides worldwide.
With the current challenging times preventing both sport being played and the normal routine of socialising together, the sports teams and societies have concentrated their focus and energy into fundraising instead.
Sian Doherty, President of Sport at Hull University Students’ Union, said: “As a result of the restrictions on playing sport, we have all channelled our competitiveness into trying to fundraise more than each other.”
Hull University Netball Squad, for example, have attempted to walk or run 60km each over the month of November in aid of the 60 male lives lost to suicide worldwide every hour. Their total now stands at over 2,000km.
The University’s Movember webpage displays the grand total achieved collectively of over £20,000, but it also tracks the individual contributions of each sports team and society, and their members. At least five sports teams have raised over £1000 each, with Hull University Cricket Club leading the way with over £3,500 raised.
MA History student and member of Hull University Cricket Club, Samuel Mills, said: “Not only have we really enjoyed creating silly challenges to raise money, like dying each other’s hair pink, but it’s been encouraging to hear fellow men my age opening up about any struggles they may have been having.”
Sian added: “It’s been really powerful to see so many male students discuss the importance of their mental health with each other. I hope they also see the sports teams and societies available at the University as a means of combatting loneliness and connecting with as many people as possible.”
Last year, the students managed to raise over £12,000 for Movember, making their achievements this year under the social restrictions even more impressive.
Sian said: “If we can commit to fundraising in the way we have done this year when restrictions on socialising are lifted, the hope is that we can raise even more money for this fantastic cause. The more people we can get involved, the better.”
Movember was started in Melbourne, Australia, by two best friends attempting to bring the moustache back into fashion. The charity has funded 1250 men’s health projects since 2003, with last year’s fundraising topping £64 million. A group of 30 volunteers has turned into millions taking part worldwide to spark conversations about men’s health.
By 2030, Movember aims to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%.
If you would like to make a donation to the University of Hull’s Movember page, please follow this link.