Have you heard of the Cancer Research Dryathlon? Simply put, this is it:
No alcohol. For January. For Cancer Research UK.
They claim this to be the nation’s first “Dryathlon.”
Really? This seems to me like another word for a detox. I’m pretty sure that thousands of people nationwide have been doing this, especially in January, for years. I have a few bones to pick about what I consider a pretty pathetic excuse for a fundraiser. Before I go on, let me just make a few things clear as I am well aware that this is not going to be a popular blog post.
- Giving up alcohol for a month is not a bad thing. It does us good to give our bodies a rest, especially as so many of us to have one drink too many during Christmas!
- Raising money for charity is not a bad thing
- I lost my Grandmother to cancer earlier this year, so anyone who may have been considering a comment along the lines of “you have clearly lost no one to cancer” can be quiet.
- Although I don’t like Cancer Research as a charity (visit JogBlog for more information) and would rather support another cancer charity, I am aware that charity giving and fundraising is a personal choice. I’m not telling anybody that they shouldn’t do it. I’m sharing the reasons why I won’t be.
So how does it work? It’s really very simple. You don’t drink for the whole month of January and people sponsor you for it, the money raised going to CRUK. For me, if I’m going to sponsor someone to do something, then it should be something that is challenging. Are you working your arse off to train for a marathon to raise money for a charity close to your heart? Excellent, if I can afford it, I will sponsor you. Are you doing something incredible to raise awareness? Good for you! However, I feel that if you need to be sponsored to not drink alcohol for a month and that this is a challenge, then there is clearly a larger issue here.
Everyone knows I like a glass of wine or a pint. Christ, my picture on my “About Me” page shows me with a pint in hand! Not very ladylike, but I digress. I’ve suffered nasty hangovers from drinking too much, just like everyone else. But I’m not an alcoholic and I often give my body a detox from alcohol and caffeine to give it a break. It’s not a challenge. In my view, anybody who finds giving alcohol up for a month a big challenge needs to take a look at themselves and ask whether they really have a healthy relationship with booze or not. In doubt? Then visit your GP.
Secondly, CRUK are offering a “get-out-clause”, although admittedly in return for donations.
Fancy a night off?
We can help but it comes at a cost!
Basically, if you have a night out coming up, a special occasion, or simply just want a night off, then this is OK. They simply recommend that you throw in an additional donation yourself, or suggest the following text for you to Tweet or put on Facebook:
Although I’m a world class Dryathlete something has come up that means I could do with a night off. Friends, I beg of you, grant me a Golden Pass (for a suggested donation of £15) and help beat cancer sooner.
This goes against the very thing that they are promoting – a month of not drinking and encouraging people to then sponsor their friends to have a night on the sauce.
CRUK, whilst I agree that encouraging the nation to tone down their drinking is a good thing, I’m not sure that a glorified detox with a get-out-clause is an admirable way of raising money. Sorry. It just highlights a problem with binge drinking in this country that people find it a challenge to even consider taking part. If you want to donate to charity, then go ahead but doing something silly can occasionally cheapen the cause, just like in this case.
Finally, if the whole nation goes dry, will there be any pubs left for us to visit in February?! Now this would be a tragedy.