June 11th, 2020

United States Australian Football League

USAFL Movember Challenge 2019
Real Stories

The United States Australian Football League (USAFL) and Movember established what they plan to be a long-standing relationship in 2019, holding a highly successful awareness and fundraising Movember campaign. 15 of the 40 nationwide USAFL clubs and more than 90 individual participants from across the league accepted the challenge. Not only were fundraising expectations exceeded; $19,676 against a target of $15,000; but the level of awareness and support raised to help men live longer, healthier, happier lives was nothing short of phenomenal.

There were some strong team and individual fundraising efforts, with the Denver Bulldogs topping the team fundraising with $5,120, pipping the Austin Crows with and taking home the USAFL Movember Challenge trophy in a head-to-head battle that went down to the wire on the 30th day of the campaign. The top 2 teams finished the campaign fundraising so close that the Play Aussie sponsored football voucher prize was split between the two. 

These fundraising accomplishments, accompanied by fantastic photographs, videos and social media posts throughout the campaign by all teams, demonstrated the true commitment the USAFL family has for such an important cause. USAFL Movember Challenge t-shirts and caps were presented by the league to individual stand-outs and Mo Bro and Mo Sister club leaders. 

The 2019 USAFL Challenge was also highlighted by some extraordinary individual fundraising efforts of the leading Mo Bros, with the top three accounting for almost $5,000 funds raised themselves.

Highest individual fundraiser Hamish Pellew ($2,290) from the Austin Crows club went through a serious illness soon after arriving in the USA, leaning on his Austin Crows teammates and to help him through. “...Not everyone has a really strong network but I was very fortunate to have some really close friends from the (Austin) footy club to help me out.” This ultimately motivated Hamish to be a dedicated supporter of the Movember movement.

Runner up Ben Altman ($1,735 raised), also from the Austin Crows, has been supporting Movember for 9 years. “I helped pull some of the (Austin) boys together and extend it to our personal network - it’s a good way to bring the community together and really raise awareness” said Ben, also citing his appreciation of Movember expanding its focus beyond cancer research into mental health, which he has personal connections to.

Third highest individual fundraiser and Denver Bulldogs Movember team champion, Dylan Braun ($1105 raised), has a very personal story about his Movember connection that has inspired his actions and commitment this campaign, in turn leading a monumental effort from the Bulldogs that gave them the edge in the 2019 USAFL Movember Challenge.

The strong response to the 2019 Movember campaign positioned the USAFL community with the resolve and resources to band together during the current COVID-19 pandemic.  With over 40 clubs spread across the Nation, USAFL clubs have taken on another kind of challenge adopting creative methods for keeping players engaged and supporting each other, including virtual happy hours, fitness sessions and challenges, cooking classes, trivia contests and watch parties. Clubs have called on various resources focused on physical and mental well being during the crisis, including those made available by Movember such as the Movember Five-A-Day challenge. These resources, combined with regular USAFL Regional league calls and online forums with various focal threads, have created a platform of interaction and support that has helped the USAFL community through. The entire USAFL community is looking forward both to seeing each other in person as soon as it is safe to return back to the field as well as another epic Movember this coming year.