Whether you're with family or part of a large, all men's sports team, we can often find ourselves putting on a brave front to hide away our insecurities - but it's ok to feel like this.

With 2020 dubbing us the children of the internet, Our friends are only a click away, but still we can feel so disconnected. We are taught from young that men of all shapes, sizes, creed and colour are equal; but in a society which really seems to be stocked in only S, M, or L shirts, you can sort of understand why many of us feel we have to fit into a mould that is very much unlike ourselves. It also doesn't help that the frankly archaic traits of physical strength, leadership and being 'alpha' are wired into us from birth - just look at the modelling industry.

This is why Movember is a special month where people can put their feeling and thoughts on the table, whilst knowing they are in a safe and supporting environment. It can be hard playing for a football team - and a very good one at that, where everyone just knows each other, secrets and all. Being in a predominately male dominated sport where the emphasis on the drinking culture is chronically associated with 'ladness', this can make it difficult for one to show their true colours and feel liberated in theie emotions. To the silent sufferers, this sort of environment is particularly challenging, where you are expected to be something you're not, act as someone you aren't keen to. It can cause distress and sever social anxiety, from interactions with others to building friendships which are key to our survival.

Not only is it important have a cry or feel weak from time to time, but to KNOW that this is completely fine!

Which leads us onto why we are growing moustaches: Movember has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 2003, but the fight still is not over.

Why? Well every minute a man dies by suicide globally, that's someone's husband, friend and brother....

BUT, we can fight this: How?

Education, having the conversations that matter and providing support for men in their communities.

Last year, the boys at NUMFC raised £2500 and the money went towards some notable projects below:

Forward momentum: Increasing diversity in research with men suffering from prostate cancer.

Ahead of the game: A fantastic programme helping to improve the mental health of young athletes.

Mental health practitioner research: An in depth study collaborating with mental health specialist to deliver an effective and tailored treatment plan for young men.

We understand that our boys' mental wellbeing is more important than ever, what with COVID-19 preventing us from seeing loved ones, friends, or being able to have a quick kick about with friends.

Welcoming people of all abilites, NUMFC is a club for all, a family if you'd like. To a lot of our members, the club is an escape from the stress and anxiety of the world around and despite the gap in ages and year groups, at the end of the day, it's football what brings us together. So to raise awareness for such an incredible month is no more fitting than it deserves.

Emon Uddin x

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