Dryathlon: What’s the big deal?

Hello January, you sneaky sausage. Or salad leaf, actually. Now that 2014 has arrived we are all supposed to be new and improved people (again), even more new and improved than the beginning of 2013. That’s right, the Christmas hangover is upon us and after not being able to get away from alcohol for the last month it’s time to go high and dry.


Not only are diet plan companies raking in the cash, there also seems to be a common desire to slow down on alcohol intake – ‘New Year, New You’. And, of course, as has been the case for various other months (Movember, Stoptober, etc.), January has its own branding in aid of charity. The ‘Dryathlon’ is a month long attempt at steering clear of alcoholic beverages in exchange for sponsorship in order to raise money for cancer support charity, Macmillan. Brace yourselves ladies and gentleman, no one ever said raising money for a good cause was easy, but if you just hold on in there you’ll be doing a great thing for great reasons and…hang on a second. Is charity sponsorship for not drinking alcohol actually a real thing? Other fundraisers do things like climb mountains, run miles and miles, do fun and silly stuff and organize great events in the name of charity. Is going a twelfth of the year without alcohol really something to write home about?

Why isn’t January about doing something different, noteworthy, or even fun for a good cause? There are probably an abundance of tee-totals wondering why this is all such a big deal. But the worrying thing is that it is exactly that, especially for students. Undergraduate nights out that begin with a desire to stay sober and end up the victim of eggshell-strength willpower when the vodka starts to pour are all too familiar. Clearly there’s something not quite right with the fact that our livers have to wait to be, let’s face it, guilt tripped into detoxification and a large majority of us think it’s worth financial sponsorship.

Obviously giving to charity is important and worthwhile no matter what, so let’s all go for it, but maybe next month should be dedicated to an activity that doesn’t involve something as everyday as giving our internal organs a rest.


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August 2021
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