Australian rowers will join the UK’s world-famous Warwick Rowers this month to produce a book, film and possibly a calendar to commemorate Australia’s leadership in LGBTI rights.

The news of the Australian collaboration coincides with the release of the Warwick Rowers 2018 naked charity calendar, with the boys baring all for LGBTI equality while raising money for good causes.

“The Aussie rowers aren’t just getting undressed for the sake of it: there’s a serious message behind the nudity,” said Angus Malcolm, producer of the Warwick Rowers calendar and LGBTI rights activist.

“These are mainly straight men confronting their privilege and how it affects their relationships with both women and LGBTI communities.

“The money being raised goes towards helping end homophobia in sport. We have been following with great interest Australia’s support of LGBTI rights and believe now is a perfect time for the Warwick Rowers’ first ever collaboration.

“We want to lend our global influence to help spread Australia’s great track record on LGBTI issues.

“We also want to give back to our Australian fans who have become one of the top five markets for our world-famous calendar, which is quite a feat considering our calendar sells to over 80 countries every year.”

Malcolm and his team will arrive in Australia this month to recruit local rowers for the project, as well as scout for locations, ahead of a shoot over the holiday period.

“Rowing is a sport about persistence and teamwork,” said Lucas Etienne, a star of the last three calendars.

“And right now, when millions of individual Australians have made their voices heard in support of marriage equality, and the 40th Sydney Mardi Gras is around the corner, persistence and teamwork are something everyone can celebrate.”

Malcolm said the project aims to be inclusive in choosing its models.

“We are on the lookout for Australian rowers who support LGBTI equality and are keen to lend their support to end homophobia in sport,” he said.

“When choosing our models, our policy is to be inclusive—we’ve never sent anyone away from a shoot.

“The important thing for us is to feature sportsmen who look the way they do because of their sport, not because they spend their lives sculpting their bodies. That aspect of the body fascism is what we are campaigning against.”

Sales of Warwick Rowers products have enabled the foundation of Sport Allies, a charity that promotes greater LGBTI inclusion and more gender equality in sport.

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