The Exeter Emeralds Host ‘Bring A Boy’ in Support of the Movember Foundation

November was an important month for a number of reasons, one of the most well-known being the movement of ‘Movember’. The Movember Foundation is an organisation that is aiming to change the face of men’s health by addressing issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. It is shocking to think that across the world a man dies by suicide every minute, and sadly 41% of men who have contemplated suicide felt that they could not talk about their feelings. Actions definitely need to be taken towards improving mental health services and reducing these figures, so that we can work towards a world where men and boys feel comfortable speaking about these issues. We have all seen men sporting moustaches in support of this incredible cause, but the girls on campus have also been very busy doing their own fundraising. 

A few weeks ago I caught up with the University’s very own Exeter Emeralds to see what they were doing in order to spread the word and support the Movember Foundation. Every year they host an event called ‘Bring A Boy’, where people of all abilities can come along and experience what it is like to participate in Cheer. The money collected through tickets all goes towards the Movember Foundation, which is a fun way to get everyone involved in supporting this amazing cause. Cheerleading is often portrayed as being a female dominated sport, so it is great that they are creating a space that is welcoming for everyone. Even though it did pleasantly surprise me to see quite a few boys in attendance who are regular cheerleaders as well. The aim of the session as exemplified by the strapline for the event was to, “Stop toxic masculinity, start cheer today!”

The session began with a brief warm up, which thankfully was also tailored to those of us who are not particularly flexible. The remainder consisted of stunting, jumping and tumbling, all of which may seem intimidating to those of us who are not athletic, but it was a great way to try something new. It was amazing to see the work that had gone into creating a friendly and open environment and planning an event that catered for everyone. The event was a huge success, and I think that the boys had the most fun out of everyone (the Exeter Emeralds might have a few new recruits!). In the end £410  was raised, which is such a massive achievement, and no doubt will greatly help those who need it. 

Conversations about mental health should be happening all year round, not just during November. With the festive season upon us, make sure that you are looking out for those around you, as whilst Christmas is the best time of year for many people, for others it can be an incredibly lonely period. If you want to find out more about the extensive work that the Movember Foundation are doing in order to tackle issues surrounding men’s health then please check out their website. There is information for those who want to find out more about what they can do to help, as well as resources and support for those who are struggling themselves.