After making New Zealand Cycling history as the first Kiwi to crack the top 10 of a Grand Tour, Nelson professional George Bennett is supporting Christchurch Urology’s Movember campaign that also highlights a world first in prostate cancer support.
Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s suicide.
The Movember Foundation has provided $130,000 of funding for the Centre for Health Outcome Measures New Zealand (CHOMNZ) with Christchurch Urologist and chairperson of CHOMNZ, Stephen Mark stressing their first partnership with the Prostate Cancer Outcomes Registry of New Zealand is a world first, in that New Zealand is the only country in the world participating in such a programme as one entire nation.
“There are other countries in the world, Australia for example, that have a similar registry but they do it State by State,” he said. “New Zealand is quite unique in that we have one registry that facilitates the local collection of data from the men themselves focused on the outcomes of their prostate cancer journey that will see additional improvements in quality of care and outcomes for men diagnosed with prostate cancer.”
Mark said all of Canterbury’s Urologists were behind the Movember campaign, with the regions six male urologists and three registrars all growing moustaches. “There’s been universal support for what we’re doing,” Mark said. “It’s about taking action about the state of men’s health and addressing some of the biggest health issues faced by men; prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.”
A key focus has been running a social media campaign with a Facebook page, Christchurch Urology supports Movember, having a fund raising presence on the official Movember website and the group is having a social cycling bunch ride this Sunday morning that Bennett is joining.
Bennett, who finished tenth in the Vuelta a Espana, performed well in the Tour de France and rode in the tough Olympic road race, said he was happy to support Christchurch Urology’s Movember efforts. “Guys don’t tend to talk about their health, and that can be physical or mental, so I’m more than happy to do my bit to help make a difference,” he said.
New Zealand Movmeber Foundation Country Manager Robert Dunne said he has been impressed with the collaborative approach required to make the Centre for Health Outcome Measures project work. “To make it all work they needed to bring different medical fraternities together,” Dunne said. “Then, driven by the Christchurch Urologists, they have got fully involved in Movember which is really cool to see. Movember needs passionate people to make a difference, and the Christchurch Urologists are fully living the Movember values of getting physically active with a focus on cycling.”
“As men get older research tells us their circle of friends tends to get smaller, which is the opposite of women. It’s important to keep in touch with mates and get exercise in which makes the Christchurch Urology bunch ride perfect for a Movember Move Challenge.”