By Sachin Jhangiani
If you see members of the AU wandering around campus with moustaches (or in some cases an attempted moustache) this month, don’t be surprised. No, moustaches are not suddenly trending and back in fashion – it’s just Movember!
Movember is a movement in support of men’s health issues such as mental health, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer. Since originating in Australia in 2003, it’s become a globally popular movement, with celebrities such as Peter Crouch, Liam Payne, and Mo Farah having taken part in it. Our AU is no exception with clubs such as men’s rugby, men’s football, women’s netball, and women’s basketball participating, amongst others.
Jamie Miller, captain of the men’s rugby team, acknowledges the importance of raising issues like this. “I’ve been close to people in my life who have suffered with bad mental health,” he says. However, Movember tends to look at “the harshest edge of the whole mental health issue”, given its focus on male suicide. He doesn’t think the Movember movement is a “great platform to deal with those conversations” but he is hopeful that it could be in the future.
While Movember is mainly associated with men’s health issues, the women’s teams at LSE have also been keen to contribute and get involved in the campaign. Gabby Clare, the captain of the netball team says that “the issue of men’s mental health has definitely been on the rise”. “It’s important to spread awareness,” she says. Their team has contributed by playing a game against the SU staff.
Several other sports clubs around LSE have been involved in the Movember fundraising efforts. Apart from growing moustaches, which the men’s football team, men’s rugby team, and cricket team have been doing, numerous clubs have taken up the Move for Movember challenge: to run 60km in the month of November for the 60 men who are lost to suicide every hour. The Athletics Club also held a 24-hour relay to raise funds, while the Dance Society organised a fundraising dance session. Links to donate to these efforts can be found on the respective Instagram pages.