NUIG students take the plunge for Movember

Ellen Fitzpatrick

Six NUIG students jumped off the Blackrock diving board in Salthill, Galway in aid of Movember, as none had the ability to grow a moustache.

Six students from NUI Galway raised over €6000 for Movember by jumping into the ocean everyday in November in Salthill, Galway.

Each day for a month, the six students dived off Blackrock diving board and took a morning swim in aid of Movember, as they said they couldn’t grow moustaches, calling it Coldvember.

“I was talking to my friend Conor Devlin , NUIGs Movember ambassador, and he asked me would I grow a moustache and help raise money, I told him I couldn’t grow a moustache, but it was still something I wanted to participate in,” said Eoin Ryan, a third year medicine student who partook in Coldvember.

Ryan, along with friends Barney McElroy, Donal Shanley, Conor O’Malley, Colm O’Donnell and Karl Glynn, all soon began planning the idea as soon as the idea had sprouted.

“During the month we kept a close eye on the weather and tides, some days weren’t suitable to jump in so we ran in from beaches instead. It wasn’t any warmer. Storm Diana didn’t make it any easier for us, as we had to take into consideration everyone’s safety, but we got the job done everyday,” said Colm O’Donnell, who also participated in Coldvember.

The group raised over €6000 for the cause, with the initial target being set to €1500. As donations immediately came in, this was changed to €6000, €1000 per person participating.

“The whole thing was definitely more successful than I thought it would be, our Instagram page was a big factor in our success, thanks to Karl, who took control with the camera and did an exceptional job, the pictures are incredible and also show how much fun we had everyday,” said Ryan.

The charity and cause itself had a significant meaning for the group and they each felt it was something that they needed to do and raise money for.

“Waking up early, seeing the sun rise, meeting new people, conquering the challenge of the cold- all these factors were really beneficial for our wellbeing both mental and physical, and inviting others to join us, we hoped would have a wider positive impact,” Ryan said.

“I found jumping in the sea improves my mood, and I know that having one good day could make the world of difference to somebody who is struggling,” O’Donnell added.

“In terms of the swimming then, we thought it would be a great way to start the day and get students together to have some fun, face some fears, and raise some money. There’s a nice correlation too between it not being the easiest thing to go in for a swim on a cold day and men’s health not being the easiest topic to broach but once you’re in you realise it’s not that bad at all,” Conor O’Malley also said.

Ellen Fitzpatrick

Image credit: Aaron O’Reilly