Hundreds of male athletes at the University of Sheffield have ditched the razor blades and shaving foam this month, as they take part in Movember in the name of men’s health.

The nation-wide movement, organised by charity Movember, sees men seek sponsorship for growing as much facial hair as they can in one month. The funds raised help to combat three of the biggest issues facing men in the UK – prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health and suicide.

Sheffield University Rugby Football Club are just one of the teams getting involved, having hosted a charity open-mic night as well as cultivating their facial hair.

Adam Spinner, the club’s Charity Secretary, said: “Movember do amazing work for men’s health, so with mental health support so underfunded, we decided to support them again this year. We are proud to raise funds and awareness.”

“Unfortunately, it is still too common for men to bottle up their problems due to fear of being told to ‘man up’. Hopefully, Movember will break the stigma around men’s mental health. It’s okay not to be okay.”

“Recently, a fellow player from Scunthorpe took his own life – he was only 23. He is sadly just one of the hundreds of reasons why we are raising money this November.

“We’ve currently raised close to £2,000, so we’re well on our way to reaching our ambitious target of £3,500.

“There are some great moustaches at the club (and some not so good) but everyone has really bought into what a great cause this is.”

As well as the fundraising efforts of the sports teams, the University Sports Committee hosted a mental health panel, to keep the conversation surrounding men’s health going.

Sports Committee Publicity Officer Nick Jones said: “I think that sport can play a vital role in breaking the stigma around men’s mental health.

“Hopefully, the panel will help men know that ‘just manning up’ isn’t enough or even particularly healthy. Getting men talking can only be a good thing.”

To donate to any of the teams taking part, visit the University of Sheffield’s Movember website.

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