27 July 2021


The Ugly Boys Running Club
Mental Health

Sam Watkins - Captain of the Ugly Boys Running Club

Tertiary study triggers feelings of loneliness, academic anxiety, depression, and stress. For those living
with a mental illness, the tertiary environment can be damaging. Running is a unique therapy and can
be a powerful intervention for clinical depression. Together we can relish in our achievements and be
proud of the long journey we are embarking on.

Through Lads Without Labels, 40 male UC students are banding together to run the Queenstown
Marathon. The guys have somewhat neglected their health throughout their time as students, and
know they are well and truly out of shape. This without a doubt takes a toll on our mental health.

"By running, not only will we be equipping ourselves with a tool to look after our mental health, but we also encourage conversations surrounding men's mental health, not only for ourselves but for all men suffering in silence."

Our mission

To be a part of the ugly boys running club is to not worry about performance, we're running ugly. We
are all about getting our bodies moving and having fun. It's not a competition, it's purely about moving
to feel your best.

"An ugly boy is not a good runner. He's a shit runner, an ugly runner, and is doing so to care for his health. Because all men should."

Like us, other men across NZ are deterred to take the right steps forward in equipping themselves
with tools to care for their health and wellbeing, and we set out to change that. Together, the ugly
boys running club embarks on a journey encouraging real change.

George Glover

"I can't run. I can't grow a mo. I definitely can't run the 2021 Queenstown Marathon. Which is why I am doing all three! Globally, the rate of suicide is alarmingly high, particularly in men. Too many men are ‘toughing it out’, keeping their feelings to themselves and struggling in silence. Movember is aiming to reduce the rate of male suicide by 25% by 2030, and I want to help them get there. Help me stop men dying too young."

The club's program

The ugly boys commit to a 20-week training period, training to partake in the Queenstown Marathon.
Undoubtedly, the team will form a brotherhood, supporting and encouraging one another to keep
pushing onwards in the hardest and darkest of times. Running a marathon isn't easy, but together we
will conquer the challenge.

The ugly boys will also spend time partaking in a variety of fundraising activities, training activities, and
socialising. Through this, we will normalise the conversation and improve the state of men's mental
health on campus.

To check out what we have in store check out our social media, or our mospace page and follow our journey.

We extend our appreciation to the supporters of the ugly boys running club. Without these good
people, this simply wouldn't be possible. Changing the state of men's mental health is not an issue
we can face alone, and we are incredibly grateful to be backed by such wonderful teams