McGill men’s rugby team steps up for Movember

Ruggers raise $7,150 as part of annual moustache festival in support of men’s health causes – more than any other McGill sports team

The McGill University Rugby Football Club (MURFC) raised an impressive $7,150 for the annual Movember fundraising campaign to support men’s health. The amount exceeds the combined total of the rugby team’s two previous years of Movember efforts.

As it did last year, the rugby team raised more money than any other McGill team – a friendly rivalry with fellow student-athletes and students for mustachioed supremacy.

“Our team is very proud to come out as the top varsity team fundraiser again this year,” said Monty Weatherall, the rugby team’s Director of Communications, and also this year’s Co-Chair of Movember McGill. “But we want to give a massive shout out to our Movember brothers at Zeta Psi Fraternity for their campus-leading raise of $13,855. Hats off to them.”

From humble beginnings to global movement

“By 2030, we aim to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25 per cent,” boldly states the Movember Foundation website. The movement’s humble beginnings can be traced to 2003, with 30 men growing moustaches. That number has grown exponentially as men around the globe now cultivate their facial hair every November to raise funds and awareness for the cause of men’s health. The charity focuses on men’s health including, but not limited to, prostate and testicular cancers, mental health and suicide prevention. Since 2003, Movember has raised $1.287 billion and funded more than 1,250 men’s health projects around the world.

Movember McGill is the umbrella organization overseeing not only all the participating sports teams, but all non- sports teams, groups and faculties on campus who have entered the month-long celebration of facial hair for a good cause. Weatherall oversees the entire campaign with fellow MURFC member Eric Shuell.

“It is not just about growing a moustache for a month. It is about spreading awareness, creating a dialogue, and participating in this cause which supports and assists millions of men around the world every year.  My teammates and I loved being a part of it,” said Andrew Knopp, Co-President of the MURFC. “We just finished doing a major fundraiser in October at the RBC Race for the Kids event, and so we were frankly a little unsure if we could pull off another success so soon after that. We are all in shock at raising over $7,000 this year – it is beyond our wildest imagination.”

Positive impact in the community

The fundraising achievements of the MURFC have not gone unnoticed by other teams. Nic Soubry, Head Coach of McGill Lacrosse, gave a shout out: “Our players have always felt a kindred spirit with the McGill rugby team as fellow warriors and brothers-in-arms. I know I speak for all my players in wanting to pay tribute to them for their inspiring work. They are a great example of a varsity team ‘doing good’ in their off-field and off-campus lives. We are proud of them.”

MURFC Head Coach Ian Baillie fully agreed with his fellow bench boss. “I am incredibly proud of the boys. The Movember campaign has been extremely important to our group for several years. To see the group come together this fall in the face of a lost season and rise to the challenge of raising the bar yet again is very inspiring. Even more incredibly, this literally came on the heels of their fundraising efforts that saw over $5,000 donated to the Children’s Hospital in October.”