After the tragic suicide of a young player the team took part in Movember to combat mental health issues
The Men’s Football Club have raised a total of £17,888 for charity in the past two months. The club has raised a total of £16,279 by taking part in Movember and £1,692 from a 10k run on the 2nd December.
Louis Carr, a first year student and member of the UCL Men’s Football Club, set up his own fundraising page for the Movember foundation at the start of the month, explaining that he had been suffering from depression and anxiety and hoped to help those struggling with similar issues. He tragically took his own life on November 23rd. After his death his page reached £12,199 following an overwhelming amount of public donations. The club have dedicated their efforts to raising money in his memory to combat mental health issues.
In the weeks after Louis’ passing, donations on his Movember page have reached £12,234.
UCLFC released a statement on Facebook:
“Louis’ kindness and humour made a huge impact on us all, and he will never be forgotten.
His passing reiterates the importance of mental health, and we will make it our absolute priority to tackle this growing problem and honour Louis’ memory in the best way we can.”
They have posted a list of support services on their page for those grieving and struggling with mental health issues.
The club are also planning to host a mental health week in January. This will include two fundraising events, a pub quiz and a football tournament, as well as an evening of talks by members who have experienced mental health difficulties and an expert from a local charity.
Speaking to Pi Media, club President Max Tyson said he was “incredibly proud of the atmosphere” that exists within the football club and praised the work of the Welfare Secretary and the rest of the committee who are reaching out to members, in particular first year students, to check up on how they are doing.
He also discussed how his own struggles have made him aware of the importance of reaching out to others:
“I have posted in the football group and told the boys in person about the problems I’ve had with anxiety and depression, as I know how important it is for people to know that these problems impact all people, even those you wouldn’t expect.”
Although he does not believe clubs should be held wholly responsible for the wellbeing of their members, Tyson emphasised that things could be done differently:
“The culture of a sports club is determined by the dominant characters within it. In the football club we’re very lucky to have a culture of inclusivity which stems from the top down.
Admittedly, this cannot be replicated in all clubs. The alternatives are senior team members being in close contact with first year students, making sure that they are supported on and off the pitch; presidents and welfare secretaries putting an hour aside each week for any member to speak to them confidentially; and clubs making members aware early on about the various support networks available at UCL.”
Team UCL Sports Clubs have raised £26,100 for Movember, earning 4th place in the ‘Big Moustache on Campus’ Challenge. The challenge involved 20 institutions, a total of 5620 members and 605 teams throughout the UK, aiming to collect funds and promote awareness of health issues faced by men.