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Hockey World Cup: A Kiwi act for cancer awareness

The players will shave off their bristles only on December 1, since they raise awareness about men’s health issues for the whole of November every year. And, they’ve coined a term for it, “Movember”, which literally is a portmanteau of the words ‘moustache’ and ‘November’,

other sports Updated: Nov 30, 2018 10:48 IST
Sandip Sikdar
Sandip Sikdar
Bhubaneshwar
Hockey World Cup,New Zealand men's hockey team,cancer awareness
New Zealand (black) player Kane Russell celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in a match against France (white) for Men's Hockey World Cup 2018, in Bhubaneswar. (PTI)

A close look at the faces of New Zealand hockey players and you will notice something unique --- each of them has kept a moustache.

For them, it’s symbolic of something very close to their hearts --- a movement to raise awareness about men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide, among others.

The players will shave off their bristles only on December 1, since they raise awareness about men’s health issues for the whole of November every year. And, they’ve coined a term for it, “Movember”, which literally is a portmanteau of the words ‘moustache’ and ‘November’,

The movement has gathered pace in the last few years. Their tall skipper, Blair Tarrant, is seen flaunting a blonde whisker. “Is it looking nice?” he asks.

Jared Panchia, an Indian-origin Black Sticks midfielder said, they unanimously decided to support the cause by growing moustaches but will shave them off on the first day December.

“Yeah, we decided to grow our moustaches to support the Movember movement. Each one of us has kept a moustache for the month of November,” said Panchia, whose brother Arun is the vice-captain of the team.

“It’s for a noble cause, so we did not think twice. It’s quite popular in New Zealand and people keep moustaches of weird shapes and sizes but we are keeping just normal ones,” he added.

Several competitions such as ‘Moscars’ and ‘International Man of Movember’ have also been organised around the world in the last decade to support the movement. The Movember Foundation is a multinational charity which supports the cause and organises these competitions.

Former Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds and India’s Shikhar Dhawan and Ravindra Jadeja have also supported the movement.

First Published: Nov 30, 2018 10:48 IST