UniQ Top Pride Fundraiser In The Country

UniQ Top Pride Fundraiser In The Country

It’s not a competition, but it also kind of is

Otago Uni’s queer students’ club, UniQ, raised nearly $13,000 for Sweat With Pride – more than double what they originally aimed for. This made them the top fundraising team in Aotearoa. 

Sweat With Pride is an annual fundraising event which encourages participants to do 21 minutes of physical activity every day over Pride Month (June). The UniQ Otago team committed to raising at least $5,000 over the month, with each member doing 630 minutes of exercise (21 minutes a day over 30 days). The team of 16 “Sweaty Bettys” ended up raising more than double that, clocking in at $12,898. This made them the top fundraising team in Aotearoa, and the third-highest fundraising group overall. Only two corporate fundraising teams, with far larger groups, ended up raising more: software company Salesforce ($17,620) and the Bank of New Zealand ($13,482). It wasn’t easy mahi, either - the UniQ team collectively clocked in 11,898 minutes of exercise throughout the month, or almost 400 hours of sweat, tears (and hopefully very little blood) every single day. 

Beth Goulstone, who works as part of the fundraising team for the Burnett Foundation Aotearoa, sent UniQ her hearty congratulations. She told Critic Te Arohi that: “My first Rainbow event as a baby queer was a UniQ Quiz Night at Otago. So it was a proud moment to see UniQ at the top of the leaderboard this year!” 

Jay Bailey, UniQ President, told Critic Te Arohi that “We had such a blast doing Sweat With Pride. It felt awesome to give back to our queer whānau and provide a stronger sense of community for the club during Pride Month.” The highlight, they said, was the big Jump Jam session they held at Unipol: “We had a record turnout, and everyone really threw themselves into the nostalgia.”

The money raised goes to a variety of LGBTQI+ support organisations. 80% goes to the Burnett Foundation Aotearoa (formerly the New Zealand AIDS Foundation), which provides sexual health support and testing services to the LGBTQI+ community, as well as running community events like the Big Gay Out. The remaining money is split between RainbowYOUTH, which focuses on providing support and advocacy for LGBTQI+ young people, and OutLine, which runs a free, confidential, 0800 counselling phoneline. 

Joe Rich, the Chief Executive of the Burnett Foundation Aotearoa, told Critic Te Arohi that: “We were blown away by the support for Sweat with Pride this year.” Across Aotearoa this year, 3,811 “Sweaty Betty” participants managed to raise a combined total of $624,382 for the three organisations. But even though Pride Month may be over, the mahi doesn’t stop: for people interested in supporting the cause, donations are still being received until the end of July.

This article first appeared in Issue 15, 2022.
Posted 3:57pm Sunday 17th July 2022 by Denzel Chung.