A host of current and former AFL players were on hand at Federation Square this morning to launch Movember.
Josh Bruce, Kamdyn McIntosh, David Myers, Adam Tomlinson and Sam Rowe partook in Movember’s Shavedown to launch the campaign which aims to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s suicide.
Richmond premiership star Kamdyn McIntosh has been growing his famous facial hair for 12 months but was willing to shave it all off for a good cause.
After waiting for three years to make his senior AFL debut, McIntosh said there were moments he questioned himself as a player but finding support in his teammates and those close to him helped him get through the tough times.
“Those three years were definitely a bit daunting at times but I found some boys at the club that I was able to connect with and speak to when I needed,” he told AFLPlayers.com.au at the Movember Shavedown.
“That’s why this organisation is so good. You want to be able to feel like you can speak up as males when you have things happening in your life whether it be mental health issues or other health problems.”
Richmond’s Hardship, Hero and Highlight sessions during their premiership season have been well documented, but McIntosh said it was the vulnerability of opening up to those around you and knowing there is a support network that was critical.
“Doing those sessions give others into the football club an insight into who you are and where you’ve come from,” he said.
“From feeling close to one another in the football club we are able to have those chats when we might be going through daunting times in our career and life.”
In Australia, 70 per cent of men say their friends can rely on them for support, but only 48 per cent say that they rely on their friends. That’s just one of the many facts on men’s health that Movember will look to shed a light on this year.
The Movember Shavedown is part of a broader AFL Players’ partnership with the Movember Foundation.
Earlier this season, the male playing group made the decision to evolve the AFL Players’ Most Courageous Award, presented by men’s health charity the Movember Foundation, to ensure that courageous off-field acts can be honoured at the end of each season.
The players also donated $60,000 through the AFL Players Care program to the Movember Foundation, and launched ‘Courageous Conversations,’ a video series featuring Dayne Beams, Taylor Adams, Connor Blakely and Matthew Lobbe in August, a campaign that shed some light on their own mental health challenges throughout their careers.
To find out more, or sign up, visit Movember.com