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25.11.2016, 14:23◄ last page     

FIRST-HAND INSIGHT: As November nears its end and the razors soon come out again, let's have a look how 'Movember' has grown in the handball world.

Keep calm and grow a moustache

It is that month of the year again where all over the world men's faces have become smooth like babies' bums for one day – just to be covered by a dense moustache in the weeks to follow.

The project, founded in Australia, arrived on handball courts again in November, connecting men in their attempt to raise awareness of testicular and prostate cancer.

With humour and a laoudable goal – this is 'Movember'.

Also in the handball world, ambassadors have sacrificed their flawless images to encourage men to have themself examined. Take a look behind the scenes and find out how you can become a perfect ‘Movember’ ambassador on the court as well.

1. Shave yourself!

The point is to start from scratch. Relax, take a deep breath and say goodbye to your pretty face. This month you will rather elicit compassion or laughter. And, of course: Pics or it didn’t happen!

2. Take selfies!

Still think you look pretty? Great! You finally have a reason to inundate your social media followers with your pictures. If you want to look cool, put on a fancy cap like Alexander Petersson. Or take a strange pose like Uwe Gensheimer. But remember: A handball motive must be included.

3. Involve your friends…

Take your friend, girlfriend, dad, teammate, or even a random pedestrian and ask them to join the action. They say you look stupid? They can't understand why you do this? Perfect! Explain them what 'Movember' is about. "My mum says, 'It is ugly!'," Orlen Wisła Płock back Jose Guilherme de Toledo says with a smile. "At the beginning my girlfriend was sceptic, too, but after a week she got used to it. Now I am considering leaving my moustache till the end of the year." And the Oilers' captain, Adam Wiśniewski, says: "Both Jose and Mateusz Piechowski from our club have fun about growing hair under their noses for a month, but first of all they like the idea behind it."

4. …or even more friends!

Like the ancient Indians used to say, "The more, the merrier." Or maybe it were the Vikings? Nevermind! No matter who said it, the boys from Flensburg definitely took it to their hearts. Henrik Toft Hansen, Petar Djordić, Rasmus Lauge and many more players decided to grow their moustache. I am really impressed, especially with those who usually stick to a lumberjack-style, like Tobias Karlsson or Thomas Mogensen – they had a looooot to cut. Check their pictures at the official website of Flensburg-Handewitt. Well done, gents!

5. Be creative!

You do not want or simply can not grow your own hair? No problem, all in all, the moustache is just a pretext. Many handball players support the action in another way, like Vive Tauron Kielce's Julen Aguinagalde or the national team of Brazil. "We made a campaign but I was the only one with a real moustache, the others had stickers," De Toledo says. "You know, it is a little bit uncomfortable. My hair is quite soft and it goes up prickling my nose so I am scratching all the time. I wanted to have my own moustache style, so I need to cream it to curl the ends up." Uwe Gensheimer also thinks you can support the action in another way. "You can enter a special website, create an account and donate to the project," he says in this video.

6. Stay in the game!

A moustache may affect your efficiency on the court. It increases the air friction and may cause turbulences while jumping (though this has not yet been confirmed by scientific research). On the other hand, you can use it to scare your opponent with your majestic look.

7. Remember, you do not need to be a player…

'Movember' has quickly involved the handball community. Players, journalists, speakers, fans – they all decided to join the movement. "One of my friends in handball was suffering from prostate cancer. In the end everything went well for him. That is why I know that prevention is so important and we decided to set a signal. Everybody who takes part, counts," the senior manager of German Sky Handball, Dennis Baier, says. "Our tv has been supporting the action for three years now. As the Polish Superliga joined it this year, I felt a kind of solidarity with the handball comminuty so I joined it, too," Piotr Karpiński, commentator of Polish NC+, says, and adds with a laugh: "I am happy to see that wherever I go to work, I see lots of ugly men and I don’t feel lonely with my image!"

8. ... or even a human being!

Marketing specialists in handball have found many ways to promote ‘Movember’. A moustache is worn not only by people but also by mascots. And it even appears in club logos.

9. Mix fun with a goal!

There is no better way to infect somebody with the idea than your own enthusiasm! Joke, laugh at yourself and draw attention by sharing your activity on social media, just like NC+ commentator Karpiński. Pictures with beautiful women count twice! "Piotr, deep in his heart, is a social worker. He is very tolerant and he gets involved in many social actions, also in the case of LGBT rights," Polish handball star Iwona Niedźwiedź says. "This project allows him to mix fun with his convictions." In her opinion the funny character of 'Movember' is a perfect vibe for this part of a year. "It is original and expects self-distance from a man. He grows a moustache in 1980s style, which makes him look like a taxi driver. In grey November it is a very refreshing way to promote a laudable goal."

10. Keep calm and be Jesper Noddesbo!

If you follow the Instagram account of Jesper, you know his specific sense of houmor. This time the Danish player of FC Barcelona decided to support 'Movember' with a picture from five years ago.

I am happy to see so much involvement. Sometimes it seems to me that self-distance is disappearing and 'Movember' may do lots of good in this respect. However, the most important is awareness and prevention of prostate and testicular cancer. I hope these guys inspired you. Talk to your dad, brother, friend, and take care of yourself.

TEXT: Magda Pluszewska / ew

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