By Martha Brennan
This month a group of six NUI Galway students are raising funds for men’s health by jumping into the freezing cold sea every day of November.
‘Coldvember’ was organised as part of the Movember Foundation – a global movement working to raise awareness and funds for men’s health.
While many take part in the events of Movember by growing irregular facial hair, the organisers of Coldvember wanted to try something new to raise funding.
“We are doing something different to the norm and while some of us will be sporting some dodgy facial hair, we are also going to be submerging ourselves in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean every day for the month of November,” the organisers told SIN this week.
Those taking part in the initiative have pledged to take the plunge every morning no matter where they are at the time – with the majority taking to Blackrock in Salthill to make the dive.
“It’s all in the name of raising awareness and funds for men’s health,” they explain.
“Our target is €6,000 but we are hoping to smash that goal, having already raised over €1,300 by day seven.”
“Wherever we are spread across Ireland, every morning we will be getting head to toe in the cold to keep the momentum going.”
The Movember Foundation is a global charity which is changing the face of men’s health and addresses some of the biggest health issues faced by men – such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention.
In the last 15 years the foundation has funded more than 1,200 men’s health projects around the world and has become one of the leading international NGOs.
By 2030 the movement hopes to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%.
The project was first set up in Australia in 2003 with just 30 participants and has since expanded to include over 5 million men and women who take part in Movember events annually – from growing moustaches to holding get – togethers, completing runs, or organising more unique events, such diving into the Atlantic like the Coldvember participants.
Other events happening this month around campus include shave-offs, beard growing competitions and running campaigns.
NUI Galway’s 30 Days of Movember campaign is currently the second highest earning fundraiser on Movember Ireland’s leaderboard.
To get involved you can keep up with NUI Galway’s Movember events on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NUIG-Movember-360389811396453 and donations can be made at https://ie.movember.com/team/2292705.
Anyone wishing to take part in the Coldvember plunge or offer support is welcome to join the students every morning at Salthill at 7:30am.
“We are always looking for more people to join us and having hosted the NUIG Rugby squad last weekend along with various others day in, day out, we are building on changing the conversation around men’s health and getting our message out there.”
“Let’s all help the Movember Foundation change men’s health.”
Coldvember’s activity can be followed on Instagram at @coldvember_nuig and on Facebook.
Donations to the Coldvember campaign can be made at https://ie.movember.com/mospace/13790921.