It all began in the winter of 2013. As the Nor-West Jets AFC in western Sydney reached a crossroad in their season. Drastic measures were taken by a select elite few to get the team to finals glory. After extensive research and meticulous planning, these few brave men embarked on an epic journey.

As the length of our beards grew, so the overall performance of the team. It all came down to a simple scientific equation:

(Performance = length of beard x density x 2.1)

This was reflected in the rise from the ashes of the team and almost led them to the holy grail.

After a successful trial period with no notable side effects, it was decided that this course of action must be taken on a team-wide level and at an earlier stage of the season. So begins the story of how a small band of remarkable young men began their journey towards immortality.

The Jets elected to put their new-found force to even greater good by teaming up with local charity Bears of Hope Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Inc (Bears Of Hope) with a "Beards of Hope" fundraiser. Their efforts inspired over 60 men across the country to grow a beard in its inaugural year (2014). This was followed by a record-breaking 2015 beard season, with $92,402.79 raised.

This year, Beards of Hope invites men and sporting clubs right around Australia to grow a beard during the winter season and brave the shave in September, raising much needed funds to help grieving fathers and their families at the same time as raising awareness for this worthy charity.

For some who have been growing their beards for years, the day that they will shave will be a sad day for all of mankind but will definitely be worthwhile. The pain is nothing compared to those endured by dads who have to say goodbye to their babies.

Baby loss is not discriminatory. And it can have a lifelong impact. In Australia, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss. One precious baby dies every 3.5 minutes in early pregnancy (miscarriage loss). Six beautiful babies are stillborn every day. Thousands of dads and their families will need our support every year during the most devastating period of their lives.

Over the past decade, Bears Of Hope have been a wonderful organisation that help many Australian families at difficult times. The Beards Of Hope campaign helps fund Couple Weekends and Men's Weekends (Sport & Support Weekends) as well as other Bears Of Hope objectives.

Please get behind and support this year's Beards Of Hope.

Make sure you 'Like' our Facebook Page for regular updates regarding fundraising events and beard profiles, as well as our popular 'Beard of the Week'.

May our beards grow longer and awareness stronger!

The Nor-West Jets, who were instrumental in launching the first ever Beards Of Hope fundraising and awareness campaign, raised a combined team total of $10,326 in 2014.