Birmingham LGBT are proud to have the Warwick Rowers join us on 14 June to mark the launch of the UK’s first dedicated sports training space for the LGBT community at the Birmingham LGBT Centre.
Dave Viney Centre Manager states “We are thrilled to be launching the UKs first dedicated fitness space with the Warwick Rowers. It’s great to see homophobia in sport and homophobic bullying creatively challenged by a predominantly heterosexual sports team.
The rowers have a long-standing relationship with the LGBT community. Their calendar, which first launched in 2009, has proved popular with LGBT fans all over the world. The current 2013 print calendar sold out in days, with over 500,000 views to date of the trailer for their 2013 film, Brokeback Boathouse.
One of the reasons for the calendar’s appeal has been the boys’ decision to take a stance against homophobia in sport. This has won the support of the gay community around the world, including celebrities such as Stephen Fry, John Barrowman, Boy George and Derren Brown.
Now the Warwick Rowers are preparing to help Birmingham LGBT Centre celebrate the opening of England’s first dedicated training space for the LGBT community.
The men will be getting into their lycra “onesies” to:
- Talk about their experiences of making the calendars and the films
- Demonstrate how to get the most of a rowing machine
- Pose for photographs with lucky guests on the evening
- Introduce their hit films from 2012 and 2013
- Share details of the new anti-homophobia programme they are developing to deliver in schools
- Explain why the lycra isn’t just for show…
The men will also be joined by the photographer and film-maker Angus Malcolm, who helped to set up the calendar project and produces both the calendars and the films. Angus admires how the Warwick Rowers have welcomed and embraced their gay following:
“One sequence in the film, of a straight and gay rower, both totally naked with their arms around each other, was particularly moving for me. I hope it will give inspiration to teenagers who may be fearful of the repercussions of coming out – because it really does get better, and the Warwick boys are doing all they can to prove that.’
The rowers look forward to doing more live appearances within the community, and will be back in Birmingham in August for the launch of the Pride in Sports Festival in August.