It’s the season of facial hair, so everyone is choosing not to shave. Of course, there’s an added incentive this month. Now that we are properly into Movember (a.k.a. Moustache November), teams are forming all over campus to gather charitable donations on the merits of their moustaches (or, in the cases of some female participants, on the merits of their leg and armpit hair).
One of these teams is a group of MacEwan athletes, led by Griffin hockey goaltender Chris Wray. According to Wray, he and the Griffins hockey team have been participating in Movember for three years. However, “the distinction between [now and] the years prior is that now we have opened it up to the other [Griffins] teams,” says Wray.
Wray hopes to have 30 athletes on the Movember team roster by the end of the month. “This is the first year we really opened up just to try to grow it, no pun intended,” says Wray, regarding the inclusion of all MacEwan athletic teams. “It’s open to women’s teams. They can all jump on.”
The increased inclusion is intended to enable and encourage more people to donate. “It’s about men’s health and prostate cancer and mental awareness,” says Wray.
Wray started campaigning for Movember when he played junior hockey in Drumheller. “We had a lot of success from their community because it’s a smaller community,” he explains. Similarly, “I think there’s another sense of community here with the school,” he says.
It’s quite fitting for the athletics team to take on the cause. Men’s sports and facial hair do have a long history with each other. One of the most renowned examples — especially here in Canada — is the classic playoff beard. Why is it grown? Mostly for luck. Wray adds that facial hair in hockey is “an identity thing.”
“It’s about standing out,” he explains.
Many athletes have used facial hair to solidify their brand and identity. David Beckham keeps his facial hair, but only barely. He’s into the scruffy look. Brett Keisel enjoys looking like a modern-day Viking. Michael Jordan is often seen sporting his subtle ‘stache and soul patch combo. Hulk Hogan has his famous moustache.
Y’know what would make those moustaches and beards better? Using those things to make some real money. Many NHL teams have started fundraising for Movember, including the Calgary Flames, Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, and many more. Unfortunately, there is no Oilers Mo’ team this year.
But there are only so many athletes in the school and the world to raise money for Movember, so why not join in on the philanthropy? Regardless of gender, everyone is encouraged to help raise funds for Movember.
Photo by Ginny, Flickr Creative Commons.