It will be the first time in the calendar’s history that it will be open to rowers outside of the Warwick Rowers
The world famous Warwick Rowers have hit Australian in a bid to find local talent for their 2019 calendar.
The Warwick Rowers are the official rowing team of the university of the same name in Coventry, England.
They shot to fame with their all-nude calendars eight years ago. Their calendar got so much attention, it was even banned in Russia for being ‘gay propaganda’.
Their annual calendar range – which includes books, films and clothes – was the brainchild of Angus Malcolm. He only discovered his passion for photography in 2008, but within 12 months had conceived the Warwick Rowers calendar concept.
It is a social enterprise and gay/straight alliance that has been a successful fundraising venture.
‘Initially, I wanted that gay/straight alliance. For me sports was a ring of hell, I would hide in the cupboard at school to get out of doing it,’ Malcolm told us.
But his project brought together the different experiences gay and straight people have with sport. The straight team members learnt how many sports can be exclusionary for LGBT people.
‘We were able to learn two different perspectives on sport which wouldn’t have happened otherwise,’ Malcolm said.
New year, new name
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the beloved project, the calendar is getting a revamp and for the first time will feature rowers who are not part of the Warwick team.
Malcolm is rewriting the rules and the calendar will be rebranded as The Worldwide Roar from 2019.
‘Despite all the great progress that’s being made towards challenging male power and promoting greater inclusion, the last year has been dominated by men who have abused their power, from Trump to Putin to Harvey Weinstein and beyond,’ he said.
‘The Warwick Rowers project has always been about giving a voice to men who are willing to confront their privilege – men who want to see a more equal and inclusive world that gives the same opportunities to everyone, particularly women and LGBT populations.
‘We recognise that there are sportsmen all over the world who want to sign up to that message and demonstrate their solidarity with our values.’
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie
Both British Rowing and Rowing Australia have backed Malcolm’s quest to find rowers Down Under for the calendar.
Malcolm said Australia was the perfect place to open up the calendar to new rowers.
‘Rowing is a sport about teamwork and persistence,’ he said.
‘Australia, through the achievement of marriage equality and the upcoming 40th anniversary Sydney Mardi Gras, has proved that teamwork and persistence will win in the end.
‘At this time, it is a message of hope that everyone around the world needs to hear, and something to be celebrated everywhere.’
How to get involved
Male rowers in Australia who want to strip down for the popular calendar can register at the Warwick Rowers website.
But there are some criteria about who is allowed to participate. Malcolm’s not interested in ‘tanorexic, gym bunnies’. He wants people who look they way they do because of the sport they play.
‘We are on the lookout for Australian rowers who support LGBT equality and are keen to lend their support to end homophobia in sport,’ he said.
‘When choosing our models, our policy is to be inclusive – we’ve never sent anyone away from a shoot.
‘The important thing for us is to feature sportsmen who look the way they do because of their sport, not because they spend their lives sculpting their bodies.
‘That sort of oppressive body culture is part of what we are campaigning against.’