Shaving for a healthy cause

SNIP: Myles McNamara, left, will have his moustache shaved off to raise money for I'm Not Afraid To Talk, founded by Jeremy Edwards. right.
SNIP: Myles McNamara, left, will have his moustache shaved off to raise money for I'm Not Afraid To Talk, founded by Jeremy Edwards. right.

They play for different teams on the field, but off the oval they have shown great teamwork.

West Whyalla league captain Myles McNamara will be shaving off his luscious moustache to raise funds for the Dragons and I'm Not Afraid To Talk (INATT), a local men's mental health group that was founded by South Whyalla coach Jeremy Edwards.

Myles said INATT's mission to encourage young people, particularly those involved with sporting clubs, to speak up about their mental health resonated strongly with him.

"Some teenage footballers can tend to bottle things up when they aren't feeling that great because there's a real stigma around men being weak for talking about their feelings," he said.

"But that isn't the case, if you aren't feeling OK you should be able to reach out to someone and I think Jeremy is doing a great job in the community."

The shave will also raise important funding for the West Whyalla Football Club Juniors, as Myles seeks to give back to the club that gave him the opportunity to develop as a player.

"I want to help raise money for new equipment like tackling bags and coaching boards," he said.

"Because Whyalla is a country region and our zone is North Adelaide you have to keep up to standard, so having that quality equipment inspires more kids to come out to training.

"West Whyalla has played a massive role in my life, most of my friends are based around the club. Every weekend after the game we get together and have a few beers, it's a wonderful environment to be in."

So far Myles has raised more than $1100, far exceeding his original goal of $1000, following a fantastic response from the community.

"In the first 24 hours that it was up on GoFundMe I think we raised around $900 through donations from all around the community," he said.

INATT founder Jeremy Edwards, who coached Myles in junior basketball, said the funding would allow the group to continue holding workshops in Whyalla.

"We do this voluntarily so any funding helps us support the community," he said.

"Myles and I are from different football clubs but mental health doesn't discriminate, so it doesn't matter what club you play for, who you are or what group you're apart of the support's always there when you need it."

Myles will be shaving off the moustache on August 29 at the West Whyalla Football Club on Playford Avenue.

"It's still over a month away and the donations keep coming," he said.

"I'm sure once the shave is done I'll look a lot younger, I think mum will be pretty happy for it to go away."