First Published: November 2016
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.

Not only do the Warwick Rowers produce a calendar each year but they also release a number of downloadable movies which show more of the guys in action. The films are a quality production and are full of sexy rowers showing off their impressive oars and rollocks. Despite the fun they undoubtably have Warwick are a real sports team, and have produced Olympic and world class competitive rowers.

You can purchase the calendar and films, as well as loads of other items from the Warwick Rowers Website.


Tristan, What has been your experiences in your outreach work when you talk to people about homophobia in sport?
Having talked to a number of our supporters about their experiences growing up in team sports, what strikes me is that there has been a necessary cultural change within school sport especially. It's always humbling to hear how honest and open people are when talking about the discrimination they've faced, and it just drives all the guys in the project to help make our message a reality. Taking part in sport as a straight teenage male meant I was only ever judged on my ability, but to think that so many people have faced barriers that have thwarted their personal development just because they were scared of not being accepted is just wrong.

All Photography: Angus Malcolm

Tom, Are you surprised that as we approach 2017 there's still so much homophobia in the UK, and particularly in sport?
I think it is pretty surprising the amount of homophobia there is in the UK and sport. I think that even though great steps have been made to abolish homophobia in all aspects of life there is still much to be done to get rid of it completely. I think a lot of people aren't necessarily making a conscious effort to be homophobic, but the society they have grown up in leads them to think male intimacy and even being gay is unusual, whereas it should not even cause anyone to bat an eyelid. Hopefully the calendar can help to change this way of thinking and can help challenge these sorts of views.

Alex, Obviously the calendar has a great following amongst gay guys. What do your girlfriends and boyfriends think of that?
I was the only one who wasn't single at the time and so I guess I'm the only one who can answer this one. I think my girlfriend is very understanding of it all as she knows it's for a good cause. She's happy as long as everyone knows I'm taken ... haha!

Alex, Some of the pictures show you holding and touching each other in quite intimate poses. Have any of the straight guys in the team found that to be awkward?
On the first day I think there were a few awkward moments but that didn't last very long at all. If anything I think that the complete openness of some of the guys that had done the calendar before helped ease everyone into it and really made it fun. The scenes that were more intimate weren't really that awkward at all and mostly just involved a lot of banter, you'll just have to see the videos if you don't believe me!

Tristan, Do you think these pictures help show that it's OK for straight men to express affection and be intimate with one another?
That's certainly what we hope! It's wrong that society expects women to act this way, but not men. We're an incredibly open and supportive group of friends and it's greatly benefited each and every one of us. Showing affection towards one another shouldn't be off limits to people just because of society's backward way of thinking.

Lucas, Do you show the calendars and the movies to your friends and family? What has been their reactions?
I do show the calendar to my friends and family! I'm really proud of being part of such a project that has a strong message and stands for such a good cause so it's really not a problem for me. It's also really hard not to show people as we have been covered by medias such as the Daily Mail, Buzzfeed and the Huffington Post. However, I haven't shown the film to any friends or family, apart from other team mates who haven't been part of the calendar but who are part of the club.

Tristan, What have you personally got out of the experience?
This project has been a huge amount of fun above all else. It's taught me a lot in terms of acceptance and the power of inclusion. Moreover, working behind the scenes has taught me a lot of skills that relate to running a project of this size, and these skills will no doubt be valuable once I graduate. Most of all it has enabled me to meet a lot of incredible people and hear their personal stories, and that's something I'll never forget.



You can purchase a Calendar direct from the Warwick Rowers Website for just £14.99. On the site you'll also find loads of other items including photo sets, film downloads, signed limited editions and picture profiles of some the guys.

A proportion of every sale is donated to Sport Allies, a charity that aims to combat homophobia in team sports.

The Warwick Rowers have certainly made a name for themselves amongst the rowing fraternity and for all the best of reasons. Their calendar is superb and they've achieved something worthwhile in sport, both on the water and off. Please support this fantastic cause and buy yourself or your friends a really great Warwick Rowers Calendar for 2017.

Part 1 of our interview with The Warwick Rowers

 

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