Members of a North East exercise group have turned to modelling, for the sake of men’s health.
The Yackandandah men, aged 60 and over, will be photographed for a 12-part series of monthly posters that aim to increase awareness about common men’s health topics.
Part two of the project, Do I look hot in this? which dealt with skin cancer, was released this week around town while the initial poster on bowel cancer Check your exhaust pipes went out in November.
Yackandandah photographer Simon Dewar donated his time to take the shots.
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Series co-ordinator Suzanne McIntosh, a personal trainer who leads the exercise group through her studio Fitness4U, hoped the project might be taken up by Victorian Men’s Sheds to expand its reach beyond Yackandandah.
“It’s basically like a reason to have a discussion about a particular topic,” she said.
The program has been planned out for the 12 months, with the next subject being cardio vascular health.
“The guys were a bit apprehensive to be part of it to begin with because they’re not the types of blokes that get in front of the camera,” Ms McIntosh said.
“So it’s interesting to watch them in these photo shoots, they’ve really got to step outside their comfort zone and kind of own the part, which has been a bit of a challenge but they’ve all put their hand up.
“Now they’re really on board, they get excited when they see the release of the photos.”
Yackandandah’s Allan Grogan, who posed for the skin cancer poster, said the thought of modelling had been “a bit scary”.
“But the photographer ... just made us feel so relaxed,” he said.
“Men, it’s pretty well known that we keep a lot of things to ourselves.
“If it can get a message out to assist anyone, whether it be men, women, whatever, I’m only too happy to participate in it.”
The former police detective volunteered for a topic he knows well, having been first diagnosed with skin cancer about 10 years ago.
“I grew up in NSW, running around the rivers and the creeks and the swimming pools with no shirts on, no hats on, no sunscreen, it just wasn’t thought of,” he said.
“It’s mainly from my lower arms because I used to wear short sleeve shirts.
“Now I wear long sleeve shirts, I know it’s shutting the gate after the bull’s bolted but if I can protect myself from any future things, I might as well do that now.”
One skin cancer was removed from the top of his ear after his barber suggested it be investigated
“It’s men talking, taking responsibility and going and getting it checked out,” Mr Grogan said.
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