On 19 November 2017 men and boys around the world will be celebrated to mark International Men’s Day. Over 70 countries will celebrate the day, focusing on men’s and boy’s health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models.
This day is an occasion for us to celebrate male achievements and contributions towards physical activity and sport in London, from individuals undertaking grueling challenges to prevent male suicide, right through to a dad who specialises in coaching youngsters who are deaf and disabled, it all counts in building a happier, healthier and stronger London for all.
Dan – ‘5 years ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar. Now I’ve just run 1,250 miles to keep men alive by talking’
Starting on 25 August from the Colosseum, Rome, Dan was on one mission, to raise £12,000 for CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) so that he could keep men alive by talking. He did this by running a grueling 1,250 miles solo from Rome to London, over 65 days across four countries. In 2012, Dan’s journey was just as challenging, but in a different way. Whilst on holiday in Northern Italy, he suffered a full scale manic episode, followed by time spent in psychiatric wards, suicidal thoughts and the diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder.
By turning his negative life experiences into something positive, Dan provided an example of how to manage Bipolar Disorder whilst living out a life-changing adventure and successfully completed his adventure on 28 October at the London Eye. Dan also exceed his fundraising target, raising £14,836.34 for CALM which will pay for their helpline to stay open for 12 nights during which they will receive over 2,000 calls from men severely struggling with their mental health of even considering taking their own life. Dan’s story is one of recovery, courage, physical and mental endurance and brings to life the power that sport can play in managing mental health.
Find out more at www.rometohome.com
Paul – ‘Anyone can play sport’
Paul is a dad and coach and explains in this short film as part of Chocolate Films 1,000 Londoners project that sport is an international language, anyone can play it, and when his son lost his sight, he made certain that he still had the same opportunities to lead an active life. Paul’s dedication to coaching in sport goes beyond his son. He is the lead coach for Newham Ability Camp, a full-time specialist physical education coordinator for New City Primary School, as well as mentoring assistant coaches, participant leaders and students, leading to him being shortlisted for the London Sport Coach of the Year Award in 2017. Through his dedication to sport, Paul helps young people with disabilities in Newham and beyond experience the benefits of being physically active.
Andy – ‘Make running a lifestyle’
When we launched our first ever campaign #LDNMovesMe, we never expected it to resonate with so many Londoners we had never met before. Andy was one of them and since has shared his physical activity story as part of our One Million Stories to Tell series, showcasing the real stories of Londoners being active. Andy’s journey began in 2014 when he got a place in the London Marathon. You might think he was already a keen runner, but that’s not the case. Andy quickly realised that no runner started off by being a runner, and that it takes time and dedication. With patience and accepting that there were bad days as well as good days, Andy completed the London Marathon and has since had the bug. He uses running to relieve stress and feel healthy and goes the extra mile by helping others to get into running. Andy is now a UKA Run Leader and runs his own local club in Wembley called ‘Run with Andy®.’ He feels a sense of responsibility to his neighbourhood to help others reach their fitness goals in a fun and meaningful way.
Find out more at www.andyraju.com
If you know of men in sport who go the extra mile to get more Londoners active, why not nominate them for a London Sport Awards 2018? With new categories up for grabs, including The London Together Award, The Children and Young People Award and more, you can help celebrate the contribution that men give towards physical activity and sport in London. Find out more about the London Sport Awards 2018 now and don’t forget to book your tickets to join over 400 guests on 8 March 2018 at Wembley to celebrate the shortlists, winners and all those involved in helping make London the most physically active city in the world.