From footballers to musicians, Geelong locals rally in support of Movember to promote men’s health
17.11.2020

From footballers to musicians, Geelong locals rally in support of Movember to promote men’s health

After all that's happened in 2020, taking part in Movember this year makes this the most important mo you will ever grow.

In what has been a challenging year for many, Movember is once again encouraging the sprouting of big beautiful moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in Australia and around the world.

With a core mission to help stop men dying too young, this facial furniture growth is all about raising vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer and male mental health.

Currently, one in six Aussie men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer by 85.

Testicular Cancer is the number 1 cancer in young men, most commonly found in men aged 15 to 39.

In Australia, men account for three out of every four suicides and six men take their own lives every day.

They’re some scary statistics, but that’s where all the brave souls participating in Movember come in.

If you’re new to the concept, this is how it works:

Guys register at movember.com and start the month of ‘Movember’ clear-shaven. For the rest of the month, these selfless and generous men – known as Mo Bros – groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery. Supported by the people in their lives, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts. This money then funds men’s health projects around the world, challenging the status quo, shaking up men’s health research and transforming the way health services reach and support men. They even report on every single initiative so you can see the impact of your donations.

It’s not just about raising money though. Each man growing his moustache effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November. They raise awareness by prompting private and public conversations around the often-ignored issue of men’s health, which in a time where we have been so socially disconnected, is more important than ever.

Truly becoming a global movement inspiring more than four million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to participate in official campaigns in 21 countries, an inspiring and dedicated batch of Geelong locals are also rallying behind the cause, contributing to changing the face of men’s health.

Here’s a round-up of who’s getting involved:

Representing the music community, local singer-songwriter and teacher Nathan Seeckts was quick to shave off his iconic facial hair this month. The powerful musician who effortlessly fuses the sounds of Americana, folk, country and blues delivered with a commanding voice that is equal parts gravel and passion has felt the effects of the pandemic and its cataclysmic impact on the music industry.

“I’m raising money for men’s health this year and participating in Movember because this has been a hell of a year and I know my own resilience has been tested again and again,” he shares. “Also, a change is as good as a holiday and we aren’t getting any of those any time soon.”

You can donate to Nathan here.

 

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A post shared by Nathan Seeckts (@nathanseeckts)

It’s been a big year of curveballs and challenges for everyone around the globe, including Workers Barbecue owner and Spinning Half Events boss Steven Nichols. He is also growing his mo this year, spawned from his struggles with 2020 including pivoting his music venue into a food-focused business and losing a loved one.

“It’s been one hell of a 12 months for me personally with regards to my mental health, COVID, the decimation of our music industry and venue, and losing my father to cancer in August,” Nichols reveals.

“It’s been a rough trot, but I’ve received some overwhelming love recently and thought I remove the coveted beard and raise some funds for all thing’s men’s health.”

You can donate to Steven here.

 

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A post shared by Steven Nichols (@stevenworkers)

A lot has changed this year. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased anxiety for many, heightened by the pressures of not only a global health crisis, but a social and economic crisis too. We know men are struggling and need us more than ever. Now’s the time to make a stand – for our fathers, partners, brothers, sons and friends.

A group that’s been leading the charge with mental health awareness and illuminating the importance of connectivity this year is the Belmont Lions football club.

Back in September off the back of R U OK? Day, the club appointed two men to lead the way in education and creating awareness for Mental Health within their football department. Coined Mental Health and well-being Ambassadors, players Troy Duim and Brodie Edge became key in creating a safe and supportive space within the club.

Furthering their support for mental health, Troy also took part in the Black Dog Institute’s Mullets for Mental Health campaign. In a similar vein to Movember, the ‘Mullets For Mental Health’ initiative aimed to start a conversation around mental health, and drive real change through ground-breaking research into early detection, prevention and treatment of common mental health disorders.

Continuing the conversation about men’s health, a mix of the club’s Senior and under 19’s footballers are also taking part in Movember this month by growing ‘the tash’. From coaches to players, 13 individuals from the club have committed to growing (or trying to grow) moustaches of various lengths, quality, and style.

“The player group here at Belmont are focused on ways we can start giving back as a community club and also work on creating a strong positive mindset throughout,” Belmont Lions senior coach Nathan Bisset explains.

“Whilst we can always improve, we believe we are well on our way to creating just that, giving men a safe space to open up and discuss any issues we are facing.”

In addition to creating awareness, some of the club’s footballers have also decided to donate a dollar amount for every entry for the month.

You can donate to the Belmont Lions team here.

While growing a moustache is the most common way to get involved in Movember, it’s not the only way individuals are contributing to changing the face of men’s health. Men can also choose to ‘Move for Movember’ which involves walking or run 60km to mark the 60 men we lose each hour to suicide; host a ‘Mo-ment’ gathering friends, family, and colleagues to support your efforts — in person or on social media — with donations, or ‘Mo Your Own Way’. This one involves testing yourself by creating your own challenge. It could be hiking a mountain, riding a wave, or simply just pledging to kick a bad habit.

Hey Mate, a Geelong-based community, are ones to combine all of the above options, fully committing to the Movember cause. An initiative built around forcing authentic connections between men, Hey Mate has become a safe online space for men to chat without judgement; building a community of men that strive to be better; for each other, for themselves, for their community and beyond. Initiatives like Hey Mate normalise conversations around men who seek help, men who are medicated, and vulnerable men.

Each week, the group will be facilitating their free Connection Sessions which are held over zoom for any man across the globe, encouraging any man to start a conversation with ‘hey mate, how are you really and how can I support you’, as well as taking part in the Move For Movember challenge and growing their mo’s.

“As a collective, we’re also dedicated to reaching out Move target of 1000km for the month of Movember, along with raising $10,000,” Hey Mate said in a post to Instagram.

Already the team has raised a whopping $11,321, and it’s only halfway through the month. Led by team captain and Hey Mate founder Gabe McClelland, this group of men are well on their way to amplifying the connection to others and also to self.

“Movember is the leading charity changing the face of men’s health, and this Movember I’m joining them,” says Jake Hogan, a local wedding photographer and member of Hey Mate.

“Although I’m not shaving my beard as it takes me like 10 years to grow back lol, I’ll be Moving for Movember – 60kms in November. That’s 60km for the 60 men we lose to suicide each hour, every hour across the world. How fucked is that when you think about it, particularly when 75% of suicides in Aus are males. I want to continue to work harder in this space to make a difference.

“Together we CAN make a difference for men’s health – in prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Help me stop men dying too young.”

You can donate to the Hey Mate team here.

 

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A post shared by Jake Hogan (@jakehoganphotography)

Whether you’re taking part in Movember this year like all these local legends, or you’re just keen to rally in support by donating money, your support can help change the face of men’s health.

And remember, one of the most important takeaways of this whole campaign is encouraging connectivity.

Try to make time this month to check in with your buddies and male family members to catch up on life. Talk, especially about the tougher issues. It’s Movember’s goal to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25% and halving the number of deaths from prostate and testicular cancer by 2030, and this is how we can help.

Now is the time for us to do what we can for our fathers, partners, brothers, sons and friends.

For more information or to find out how you can get involved, visit Movember.