Warwick Rowers strip down to the ‘bare necessities’ for charity calendar once again to raise awareness and money in order to tackle homophobic bullying in Sport.
The Warwick Rowers 2015 calendar is setting the standard once again for rowing clubs with the release of their 2015 naked calendar.
Their newest edition has inspired other rowing clubs to follow in their footsteps, so should the BU rowers be doing the same?
From humble beginnings in 2009, the men’s rowing team at Warwick University launched their first naked calendar which was sold just on the university campus.
Unsurprisingly, the popularity of the boys and their calendar surged, inspiring the team to ‘give something back’ to everyone supporting them. In 2012, the cause became to tackle homophobic bullying through their charity initiative ‘Sport Allies’, a programme that the rowers explain aims to “reach out to young people challenged by bullying, homophobia or low self-esteem.”
The athletic physiques of the team and the cause they represented attracted vast amounts of media attention and received huge celebrity support and endorsement from the likes of Stephen Fry, Gok Wan, Boy George, and more. The 2014 calendar raised over £100,000 for their club and the charity.
Sir Ian Mckellen also supports Sport Allies. He hosted the club’s first formal event to launch the 2015 calendar, which took place in October at The Mayfair Hotel, London. Commenting on the event, he said: “I was delighted to be asked, and more than happy to help the boys with the amazing work they are doing through Sport Allies.”
Since the rocketing success of the calendar and its other associated products, it has sold to over 70 countries.
It found US fame through appearances on Good Morning America and has been recognised on The Jonathan Ross Show. A limited edition of the calendar is also said to be proudly on the wall of Kylie Minogue’s office.
The team say they are thrilled with their successes, but are aiming for the 2015 calendar to be the biggest and best one yet. So why not get involved? Bournemouth University proudly support the LGBT community, and in 2013 students undertook research into homophobia in sport for organisation ‘Just a ball game?’.
The findings showed that LGBT men and women often feel pressured to remain ‘in the closet’ for fear of exclusion, and therefore may not achieve their full potential, sporting or otherwise.
Statistics also showed that 57% of those in education hear homophobic language being expressed everyday, raising questions as to how seriously the issue is being tackled by educational and sporting establishments; hence the work being done by Just a ball game? and Sport Allies that aim to raise awareness and make changes.
The iconic photo of the 2014 calendar was a shot of rower Laurence Hulse, who said: “Working closely with the LGBT community we’ve heard first hand of their experiences of bullying and the struggle to come to terms with their sexuality.
“As well as funding our outreach work we also hope we can make a statement with these calendars…top end sport could offer the role models to LGBT youth that they desperately need and currently lack.”
Next for the Warwick Rowers in their bid to make a mark is a US tour, personal appearances and calendar signings, as well as the shoot for the 2016 calendar.
And the BU rowing team wouldn’t object to following in the footsteps of the Warwick boys.
Product design student and member of the BU rowing team, Rob Goswell said: “Anything to raise money for a good cause is something that should be very much at the heart of any club or society, and the boat club is certainly no exception.
“We did actually participate in something similar last year and I’m led to believe that it is a regular annual thing. We’re always doing charity fundraising events and not afraid to show a bit of skin in order to achieve that!”
Looking for a stocking filler? Well this is probably it. Whether it’s for friends, family, or a sneaky Christmas treat for yourself, it is for a fantastic cause and sent straight from the team.
You can visit the team’s site to find out more, see their promo video and order your prints for this year on: http://www.warwickrowers.org
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Get the naked rowers pinned to your wall this Christmas.