Despite a re-brand and the current global pandemic, the famous Warwick Rowers message is just as strong as ever, stay home, stay safe and stay happy.
In 2018 the Warwick Rowers’ social media presence disappeared when its charitable efforts were basically mistaken for an excuse to post sexy pictures online.
The sports-based campaign, known for stripping down as a part of a calendar shoot that helps stop homophobia across all sports has since re-branded to Worldwide Roar a sports-based advocacy program aiming to become “an inclusive campaign that offers sportsmen everywhere to experience the journey of the original Warwick Rowers.”
Worldwide Roar producer and Sports Allies sponsor Angus Malcolm spoke with AskMen and said over the course of ten calendars, four coffee table books, and countless films, [this] project evolved from a basic student fundraiser for a sports club into a campaigning calendar promoting the straight ally message into a global campaign looking to promote healthier masculinity (and by implication, gender equality and LGBT+ rights) through changing how we look at men.
“The Roar will enable men to set project-based goals based on their sporting skills, their physical fitness, their social skills, empathy, courage and commitment to change. This is an opportunity for sports – and sportsmen — to show leadership in promoting diversity, healthier masculinity and gender equality,” said Angus Malcolm.
When Warwick Rowers began creating calendars the majority of the athletes modelling were straight, in the most recent shoot for the new calendar the percentage was about “50/50 straight and LGBT” with its first-ever inclusion of a trans person.
“Over thirty men took part, from all levels of rowing, including aspiring GB squad members, and from a range of other sports, including football, boxing, cricket, rugby and MMA,” added Malcolm.
Malcolm said he is conscious of the rules that operate, particularly when men are together in groups and being prepared to challenge those rules, even when it’s not comfortable to do so.
“I think that’s part of what makes the nudity in the WR project so meaningful – these are men stepping outside their comfort zones and potentially inviting the criticism of other men by breaking unspoken rules about intimacy and vulnerability between men,” he said.
“It’s about visibility, too. If you care about your values, you have to prove them … you cannot hide in the shadows. Stand up for the person who is being bullied, at the time that it is happening.”
In the latest Instagram post from Worldwide Roar, the guys throw the famous purple paint in the air, covering their private parts with the message,
“In our signature purple, we are sending up the flares. Stay home, stay safe and stay happy! We know quarantine is a challenging time for everyone and we are working hard to keep you entertained. As well as our WR House Party, our April Roar Portfolio is packed full of home interviews, tips for entertainment in quarantine and updates from the guys.”
The rower’s latest calendar features their biggest and most diverse cover shoot ever, along with seventeen incredible full-size images shot in London and in Spain.
All net profits from the sales of Worldwide Roar products are proudly donated to Sport Allies – The registered charity focusing on inclusion through sport.
Find out more about the rowers here.