Cal Men’s Swimming embraces Movember to raise Men’s Health Awareness

As we all know, November can get a little hairy. Once known for being the infamous “No Shave November”, a new trend has arisen that has seen the males in our society clean up their act a bit… or at least their face. Movember, which combines November and Mo (the slang term for mustache), encourages males to grow and sport mustaches during the month of November in order to raise men’s health awareness.

Not one to back down from a challenge, the Cal Men’s swim team has taken on Movember as a whole, and are not only rocking some serious facial hair on their upper lip, but have also created a team profile via the Movember Foundation’s website and are raising money as a group to support the cause.

I got the chance to discuss the topic with Cal senior and NCAA All-American Trent Williams, who helped spearhead the movement within the team.

trent williams mustache - movember

Cal Senior Trent Williams 2 weeks into Movember

1. Why did Cal Men’s Swimming decide to participate in Movember? 
We did Movember last year but didn’t really do a whole lot with it. This year I wanted to really have the team put in some leg work and make a difference. I feel like us, as a team, are in a really good position to make a difference and raise awareness. This year, more than last year, cancer is really hitting close to home. And I’m not the only one that has a loved one with cancer. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men in the US. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men aged 15-34 in the US. And around 1 in 4 adults in the US will experience a mental health problem in a given year. As a team of 18 to 22 year olds this is stuff that will affect us in some way shape or form sometime in our life.  The money we can raise can be used to help research these issues that by the time they would affect us, they are no longer a problem.
2. How have you demonstrated your participation? (movember foundation, actually growing mustaches, etc.) 
Let me say what Movemeber is all about. Its a platform to raise money for men’s health issues. It is more than just growing a nasty mustache. But that is a part of it though. For the guys on the team that are endowed with killer facial hair, they will grow some good mustaches. Some of us, like me, will grow a pretty weak stache. It’s a great conversation starter though. Yuri is rocking quite the monster mustache this month. Outside of facial hair, we set up our personal Movember donation pages and joined the cal men’s swim page. We post the links on our face books and twitters and also sent out emails to get donations. Simple stuff really. 
3. Has this brought you closer together as a team?
I think it has. Seeing the mustaches we grow is great, but it’s made us aware of the health issues that men can face. We are a men’s swim team and we are helping men. It’s pretty cool. Having us all work towards a singular cause has really brought us together.
Matt whittle mustahce

Cal sophomore Matt Whittle boasting his mo

4. Has participating helped to raise your own awareness of men’s health issues? The awareness of those around you? 
Definitely. These men’s health issues are affecting some of us now and will probably affect a good amount of us as we get older. I think the coolest part about us raising money and awareness is that we are helping not just ourselves, but future generations. If the money we raise now can fund research to help treat prostate cancer by the time we are of age to start worrying about it, that is awesome. But what is better is that the money we raise can help fund research to make it so our future generations will not have to worry about these men’s health issues at all. That is really awesome.
5. How can outsiders help and participate in Movember? 
Just reading this article is helping.  It is all about awareness.  Getting the conversation started. Any sort of donation helps too. Here is the link to our page where people can donate.  http://moteam.co/cal-men-s-swim If you don’t donate, still click the link and just explore the site and pass it along. Go Bears, and United We Mo. 
nick silverthorn mustahce

I think it’s safe to say Nick Silverthorn is winning Movember.

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Trent Williams

Yeeeewwwwww!! Thanks Coleman! Super stoked to see this. Thanks to all who donate and help raise awareness for men’s health! United we mo!

Justin Pollard

Now that’s a step up from the old “stashes for Stanford” initiative of the 2000s!

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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