• Glen Donnelly and his sky diving partner jumped to raise awareness for men's body image awareness. (Glen Donnelly GoFundMe page)
After a comment on his 'tubby' belly Glen Donnelly has been on a mission.
By
Riley Morgan

30 Aug - 12:56 PM 

Glen Donnelly, a self-proclaimed introvert, celebrated his birthday in unusual fashion when he jumped nude from a plane over Coffs Harbour playing classical music on a violin.

However, the bizarre birthday celebration was for an admirable cause to help increase awareness for men's health as the brave 30-year-old plans to raise $1 for every foot he plummetted on his way back down to earth.

On August 27, Donnelly filmed the plunge with Coffs Skydivers on a GoPro and braved the minus 10 degree chill at 15,000 feet and fell for three minutes.

The talented musician was also able to brave the forces and play a piece on his violin, including Happy Birthday, while reaching speeds of up to 200km/h.

“The reason I wanted to do the jump is because for the last 18 months I have been campaigning for body image and I’ve discovered that it’s really the guys that need help," Donnelly told SBS World News.

"They need more of a voice. We already have wonderful representation for female body image."

Donnelly is a crusader for men's mental health and tells of his own struggles that affected his life and career in the London Symphony Orchestra.

"I'm being a real man by sharing the struggles that have plagued my life for ten years, of how at age 18 after one comment from a fellow musician about my 'tubby' belly I started silently sucking it in 24/7, creating a mental and physical prison in my body,' he wrote on his GoFundMe page.

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"That would lead to a breakdown in 2013 quitting a successful career playing in the London Symphony Orchestra."

The brave  man now dedicates his time to raising awareness of the 'unsung epidemic that is men's body image' and is raising money for charities through Coffs Skydivers.

“Guys have more problems than we realise and we live in a toxic culture of masculinity where men are pressured to feel shame," he said.

"That causes a situation where men are embarrassed about their shame and what that does is cause more shame."

Donnelly admitted he found the skydive a difficult challenge, but was willing to put himself out there to help raise awareness.

"What I’ve learnt is that we just have to keep putting the message out there and that is just the beginning. That is exactly how it starts. If I have to jump out of an aeroplane to get the conversation started then I will do it."

Chief Instructor at Coffs SkyDivers Lawrence Hill said his team were immediately on board when Donnelly approached them as they also work with one of the charities to benefit from the event.

"Straight away when he sent the brief, we responded because it fits in with how we see the world. Both Steve Hill (founder) and I are both part of The ManKind Project,' he told SBS World News.

“We would like to see men supporting each other and willing to talk about the things that we don’t talk about."

Lawrence jumped in tandem with Donnelly and said he was thrilled to see the enthusiasm on his face.

“He did really well. And you could see before we jumped how much this meant to him. He thought of the idea five months ago. All of sudden we are in the plane and it’s his 30th birthday and we jumped out at the same time he was born,' Lawrence Hill said.

“To be there with him, doing that was just amazing. Even free falling he was playing happy birthday on the violin and he had a big smile on his face.”

The $15,000 raised will be equally split between The Butterfly Foundation, the Nude Movement and The Mankind Project.