These rowers aren’t just calendar boys
Formerly known as the Warwick Rowers, Worldwide Roar are a group of guys who get naked to campaign for LGBTQ equality.
Renowned for their annual calendars, celebrating the athleticism and sexuality of rowers, the boys of Worldwide Roar continue to demonstrate that they’re more than just pretty faces.
Having launched their first calendar in 2009, Worldwide Roar have gone on to found Sport Allies – a charity that champions greater LGBTQ inclusion in sport.
We caught up with Angus Malcolm, the Chair of Sport Allies, for an update on the work of the charity.
“Sport Allies has received a warm welcome within the field of inclusion…” confirms Malcolm. “We’ve had a positive response from the sort of policy-makers we hope to influence. This includes proactive support from the Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Commons Select Committee, and a meeting at 10 Downing Street to brief the Prime Minister’s advisers on the key issues we’re addressing.”
“Sporting bodies such as British Rowing and Rowing Australia have expressed strong support for our work…” adds Malcolm. “We’re also currently exploring a collaboration with a UK sports national governing body to examine the LGBTQ experience of participating in team sport.”
But Malcolm concedes that there is still work to be done. “Many sports in places such as the UK and the US are proactively seeking to be more inclusive…” explains Malcolm. “While in other countries – such as Russia – things seem to be moving backwards generally, in relation to LGBTQ rights.”
Why male nudity matters
Writing on the blog of Worldwide Roar, Angus Malcolm explains why getting naked is a central part of the work of the WR boys.
“Our project was built on creating and promoting disruptive perspectives on the male body. As we have explored how to manage the legacy of a small student calendar that stumbled into the hearts of many around the world, we have taken inspiration from the late 19th century revival of the ancient Greek games.”
“Our experience shows that a combination of individual and team-based nudity liberates men to become more conscious of their gender and sexuality, along with the key role these play in their life chances, life experience and social impact.”
“This is about men confronting their physicality, exploring how it has affected their relationship with masculinity and seeing clearly how the resulting sense of power and invulnerability has impacted on their mental health and on the mental health and life experience of others.”