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Wally Show full post »
Lefkippus
I have read through a couple of times, Johannes Swagers letter here, and feel that he has expressed exactly my opinion, and he has set out the argument very clearly and strongly, much better than I have been able to do so far. For me the strongest element has always been that this is a sports team/club, who would be practising and competing together, irrespective of the naked calendar. They are athletes who have fun together, growing together, in their sport. The sport is rowing, and so the strongest part of the argument for equality in participation, is that these guys are happy and relaxed about working together and appearing together, clothed or naked, with all their rowing equipment.....around the club house, training and rowing, in and out of the water, etc. The parts of the photos and films that involve different locations, different athletes, are good, but should always be secondary to the promotion of the team spirit, and the fun that can be had in participating in the sport itself. Warwick University appears reactionary and intolerant, if it has chosen to disassociate itself from the project, to prevent the use of the club facilities, and to deny the benefits that have accrued, and to frustrate the aims of the Warwick rowers and Sports Allies. My hope is, that the project can continue, perhaps with a different team or sport, but where the emphasis is still the sport and the importance to the team of universal access to participation, based on ability not orientation. 
Over the years we have come to feel a bond with the individuals who participate in the calendars and films etc.  They have done an amazing job in promoting their sport and the cause of Sports Allies, simultaneously. I am very grateful to them all, and to those that have made this project possible.
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bejjinks
Only a small few people said anything about withdrawing support in a fit of pique. But even those few have a point. I agree with Jarod that we shouldn't withdraw support in a fit of pique but if we would listen for a moment we might learn something.

There are already tons of places where you can spend money to buy pictures of naked men. Dieux Du Stade for example is supposedly fighting homophobia and so is SHU rugby. If this was just about spending money on pictures of naked men for the sake of fighting homophobia, then why not get behind Dieux Du Stade or SHU rugby?

No, Sport Allies was unique BECAUSE OF WARWICK ROWERS. Losing Warwick Rowers is a huge, ginormous loss. Sport Allies will survive but it is a huge "impact". Denying the wound isn't going to help Sport Allies in any fashion. Sport Allies is at risk of becoming just like Dieux Du Stade or SHU rugby.

What's wrong with Dieux Du Stade or SHU rugby? They are less effective. In fact, most people don't know that they are fighting homophobia. Most people think they are just porn sources. What made Sport Allies unique and more effective was that it had real people. I don't mean real athletes because Dieux and Shu have real athletes. I mean that the Rowers didn't just pose. The rowers spoke and shared their personal experiences. We got to know them as more than just "handsome, young men" as Wally pointed out. I've never been one of those people that supported a team and cheered a team on to victory but I wanted to support the Warwick Rowers and cheer them on to victory because they weren't just "handsome, young men". They were true heroes. I enjoyed watching them compete in actual competitions as much, if not more than, seeing them naked because of who the Warwick Rowers are.

I'm open to finding other athletes since we lost the Warwick Rowers but I never want us to forget the roots of what made Sport Allies special: the teamwork and camaraderie of real people with real personal experiences with homophobia willing to share more than just their nudity, willing to take risks and be vulnerable not for the sake of money but for the sake of promoting a cause. That isn't something you find anywhere else.

I can't name a single person in SHU rugby. I could name a few in Dieux Du Stade but even those few, all I know about them is their name and what sport they play. But I know Lucas, Chris, Amir, Laurence, Tristan, and other rowers. They have earned my support.
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bejjinks
In fact, if I may be allowed to fantasize, I would love to see more of the old rowers come back. I think it would be great to watch the original Chris in the same boat as Amir crossing the finish line at a real competition flying the Sport Allies banner high and proud. That would be the ultimate photo finish. That would be a photo worth framing.
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PlayfulGeek

"I love seeing you in your natural states AND
  I'm missing the oars and eights!"

is what I wrote to them, as a fellow rower.  Rowing was such a wonderful, full-team-as-one experience for me.  And how awesome to find confluence of that with my naturist side.  Some of the early "making of" videos captured that joyful, edgy, I'm hot, getting-comfortable-in-our-own-skin innocence ("is that my penis?").  The queer support element was (as a gay man with "challenging" early life experience) wonderful icing on the cake.

I don't need fancy venues or exotic locations.  I want to see men who are rower/swimmer/dancer fit really enjoying themselves as they risk a bit to expose a bit and step into their own magnificence as they are fully exposed.  It's hot.  It's inspiring.  It's awesome.  To see people fully.

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bejjinks
Jarod wrote:


They still do. Maybe you're getting different films to the ones I've been getting. Pay special attention to what Amir says in the February film.



I know they still do. I was comparing them to Dieux and Shu in which the guys do very little talking.

Jarod wrote:


I started supporting Warwick Rowers in 2015 because of Sport Allies. I heard of Sport Allies before I heard of the Warwick Rowers. Maybe that's the difference between those behind Sport Allies and those behind Dieux du Stade and SHU Rugby. Sport Allies is much more committed to fighting homophobia and therefore has made the effort to achieve a higher profile independent of the Warwick Rowers.


Dieux has a higher profile. Dieux Du Stade even has a Wikipedia article. They started out earning money for charity but forgot about charity somewhere along the way.
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Pammy
yes actualy i dont love dieux du stades, but my prefereted are warwicks rowers, shu rugby and the greek come thrue, someone know other interesting calendar productions? for the dieux fans now they have the official web site  http://www.dieuxdustade.com/fr/accueil
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Keen Follower
Jarod wrote:
Although Sport Allies was started by members of the Warwick University rowing team, it has always been an entirely separate organisation. The only negative impact will be on the university rowing team unless they find another source of funds. I do hope that that happens as it would be sadly ironic if the demise of the rowing team was brought about by the homophobia or prudish attitudes to nudity of some individuals at the university.


Jarod, I don't understand how you can draw such conclusions about 'some individuals at the university'. It would appear that the university declined to comment on the matter. What that proves is that the university did not wish to comment on the matter - nothing more. There could be any number of reasons for their decision to distance the institution from the project. Unless they state their reasons we cannot know why. It's unfair and, indeed, rash to attribute negative motives to unknown individuals or the institution itself.
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John RW
What struck me most about what Angus said was that the captain of the rowing club had banned rowers from participating in the calendar. So sad to see this happening. 
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Keen Follower
Yes, I've read Angus's posts on the issue. I haven't read anything from the university. What some at the university may have said doesn't allow me to draw any conclusions.
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bejjinks
Who made him captain?
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Angus_wr
I believe the statements I have already posted in various places on this forum make the situation at Warwick clear.  These statements have been written to ensure that they can be defended in a court of law, and Jarod's understanding of the statements is entirely correct.
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Keen Follower
bejjinks wrote:
Who made him captain?


I would imaging the members of the rowing club elected their captain. That's what happens in most sports clubs. Is that how it goes in university rowing clubs? 
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Keen Follower
John RW wrote:
What struck me most about what Angus said was that the captain of the rowing club had banned rowers from participating in the calendar. So sad to see this happening. 

So Amir, Alfie and James are no longer members of the rowing club? Is that what that means?
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John RW
Alfie's Instagram has him in South Africa, no idea about James, Amir can speak for himself, although his Instagram has shown him training at Warwick.
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bejjinks


I would imaging the members of the rowing club elected their captain. That's what happens in most sports clubs. Is that how it goes in university rowing clubs? 


But that is my question? Not how do typical clubs decide on a captain but this specific case, did the rowers vote for him, was he appointed by the University, was there a panel that included rowers, parents and others, or was there some other selection process that put someone in charge who is so clearly against Sport Allies?
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