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Wally
For me, the original appeal of these calendars and accompanying images and films, was seeing fit rowers naked.  The shoots now are so detached from the sport they could be nude shoots of and young, admittedly handsome, young men.  But you can get that kind of thing anywhere.  A few oars don't make a rowing team.  This all looks like a gay travel site.  Probably wouldn't pay for further shoots.
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Jarod
This has all been covered in other threads. Look for the posts by Angus. In an nutshell, Warwick University no longer wants anything to do with the calendar and other products. The focus is now Sport Allies which goes way beyond university rowing.
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PVogt
To Wally. Apparently you don't follow this blog so much - as Jarod mentioned this has been addressed a good bit. He referred to Warwick U not supporting the rowers. It still seems to me they could still find rowing areas and boats etc that they could continue to use somewhere
in England. I happen to be one of the ones like you, that feels this
has gotten out of hand. Warwick Rowers really is not an accurate term anymore. It seems to be getting less rowers now and bringing in guys from other sports as well as special guests which as Jarod refers - goes along more with the Sports Allies theme than a Warwick rowers theme. If you read through a lot of the topics you'll find that there are a lot that wish it was still "rowers" and localized. On the other hand, there is a camp that appreciates the different changes and locations. I do think its unfortunate Warwick U has distanced itself from the program ...but with a lot of guys liking the exotic locations
, having all the make up crew, the films (and all their different varieties and formats) it may have morphed into this situation anyway...whether the university chose their stance or not. Along with all the change and trying to advance their selections to customers ,
to increase the profits, adding distribution centers etc, it has
become (at least for now) troublesome and complicated for many to receive their orders. I of course absolutely support the "boys" and their decisions to make their choices re nudity for a great cause - however with growth and change,often times it gets way too
complicated. For my opinion, I still wish it was simply the rowers
doing their local shots - whether at the school or somewhere else
local to England or the UK. Its not exactly accurate to refer to them simply as the "Warwcik rowers" anymore. Shrug...
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Jarod
PVogt wrote:
Along with all the change and trying to advance their selections to customers ,
to increase the profits, adding distribution centers etc, it has become (at least for now) troublesome and complicated for many to receive their orders. I of course absolutely support the "boys" and their decisions to make their choices re nudity for a great cause - however with growth and change,often [sic] times it gets way too complicated. For my opinion, I still wish it was simply the rowers doing their local shots - whether at the school or somewhere else local to England or the UK. Its not exactly accurate to refer to them simply as the "Warwcik [sic] rowers" anymore. Shrug...


(1) I doubt very much that what Angus and the lads have been doing has anything to do with increasing profits. I imagine that the law frowns rather heavily on charities that seek to make profits.
(2) Given that it was the fulfilment company used to despatch the orders that was the cause of the problems experienced by many this year, even if everything had still revolved around the boat shed and the River Avon, those problems would still have occurred.
(3) The products that Angus and the lads produce are to raise funds for Sport Allies. I support the Warwick Rowers for that very reason. If, instead, it was a football or cricket team, or even the university chess club that was raising funds for Sport Allies I would be supporting them. Anyone who is a member of the LGBTQI community, and I imagine that that includes many of the negative posters to this forum, should be throwing their full support behind Angus and the lads. To want the Warwick Rowers to have remained as they started, and as a result to potentially not be supporting Sport Allies, or to be supporting Sport Allies to a much lesser extent, is rather small-minded and selfish.
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PVogt
To Wally. You apparently don't follow this forum very much. As Jarod mentions, this has been discussed a good bits in the other topics. I happen to agree with you that I wish it remained about Warwick rowers and about boats, and lakes and rivers and rowing. Many agree with me but..... a new camp has risen which appreciates the direction this is going.... adding more selection on items to purchase than 'just calendars' , having a bunch of makeup artists, going to exotic
locations etc etc. Apparently this is an effort to keep it fresh and not let the project get stale. As Jarod reports one thing is that the university has distanced itself from the project. (I don't know that I've read whats behind all that ..... is it parents, is it the university board, are the other students unhappy about it, is their
some financial reason?) so the boys have lost access to the boats and boathouse I suppose , for filming purposes anyway. The flip side is
that as they 'grow' from simply some colleges lads getting nude to
raise money for their sport, they are somewhat getting away from the term Warwick rowers and moved onto Sports Allies which Jarod mentions.
I really wonder if the decision by the university to distance
themselves is really such a big impact. After all due to the trend to 'keep it fresh' and change it up anyhow, going to the cool locations
has drawn a supportive crowd as well. This has involved more
locations, its beginning to introduce guys from other sports, having guest appearances from celebrity sportsmen (which if they choose not
to do full frontal has nearly created its own monster by some of the guys on here lol). And of course as things change and grow you
encounter growing pains and this has been evident especially the past several months it seems when it comes to receiving orders, mix ups on what customers think they are ordering and the organization having to outsource more of their distribution help. To be clear I positively support the boys and their decisions re nudity for whatever cause is important to them. It's just become a bit too much complicated ..at least for the time being.
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bejjinks

PVogt wrote:
I don't know that I've read whats behind all that ..... is it parents, is it the university board, are the other students unhappy about it, is their some financial reason?.


The truth is, the university wouldn't say. They just abruptly slammed the door.

I think all of us wanted it to stay the Warwick Rowers. I don't think any of us are happy that the university severed ties, especially since the project is only ten years old. The "new camp" you are referring to isn't trying to change anything. We are just more willing to accept the changes that are being forced upon us. We're not pushing for exotic locales and guests. We just recognize that some changes need to happen for the greater good. If the project tried to stay the Warwick Rowers when the university has said absolutely no, then the Warwick Rowers would cease to exist at all. I would love to have more of the older stuff but you can't have everything you want.

As far as shipping problems, it's my understanding that this isn't a new problem. The forum has allowed us to talk directly to Angus and therefore Angus has become more aware of the problems this year then he has been in the past. They aren't adding distribution centers to "increase profit". They are adding distribution centers to fix the shipping problems, to make sure products don't get lost in transit.

I do want Sport Allies to always remember it's roots, no matter how "complicated" it gets. I love that several of the original Warwick boys are still heavily involved in the project. Maybe they can create their own Sports Allies rowing team eventually with the original boys coming back as coaches. But even if they can't do anything with rowing, the most important things I want them to keep is: 1. real people (no glamorizing, no beauty queens, let people be their genuine selves) and 2. team spirit (no stars, there is no "I" in team, groups working together for a common goal).

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Jarod
bejjinks wrote:

I think all of us wanted it to stay the Warwick Rowers.


Any gay man who is unhappy about the growth and other changes to the project needs to read up on what Sport Allies is all about: http://www.sportallies.org/
Sport Allies would not exist if the Warwick Rowers project had remained as it was in the early days. There also would be no full-frontal nudity. Robbie Manson wanted to take part because he understood the importance of what Sport Allies is trying to do and I'm sure that Alex and Sebastian took part for the same reason.
Anyone who wants to take part in the photo shoot is welcome as far as I'm concerned and I agree with letting people be their genuine selves which, naturally, includes allowing Robbie not to appear full-frontal if he was not comfortable with that.
Sport Allies is all about inclusivity and people not being discriminated against because of who they are. It saddens me greatly that there seems to be a number of gay men who don't care about what Sport Allies is doing, they just want their naked rowers.
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Keen Follower
Jarod, as far as I'm aware the forum was set up to facilitate customers, to allow them to express their opinions and to provide feedback. Feedback may be positive or negative and that lets the people running the forum know whether specific features or decisions are generally popular or not. Having a 'forum' in which only sycophantic comments were made would be of no real value in terms of feedback. I just wonder why you always seem to be in there stamping down on apparent criticism as if you were Angus's 'heavy'. That may seem quite harsh to you, but your numerous responses to people's honest opinions seem generally to me to be tinged with anger. Just some feedback from me.
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Jarod
Disappointment and frustration rather than anger. Although beijinks' misguided opinion that "all of us wanted it to stay the Warwick Rowers" did make me see red. As someone who experienced throughout my childhood and adolescence exactly what Sport Allies has been created to try to bring to an end, I can't not respond to those who say that they wish that Warwick Rowers had never changed. Because, to me, that means that they would rather that Sport Allies had not been created. When that kind of sentiment is expressed by another gay man it comes across as a real slap in the face. That attitude is also hypocritical given that if the project had remained as a fund-raising project for the rowing club, it's highly likely that there would be no full-frontal nudity, at least not to the extent that there is now, and yet a number of those who wish Warwick Rowers to still be all about university rowing were scathing of Robbie Manson for covering his penis.
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PVogt
1) I appreciate Keen Followers response very much since I'm one that seems to get attacked by Jarod though... in my above post I tried to be nice to him and use his examples.
2) To Beijinks - I appreciate your even and level headed response and I regret that you have been attacked too because of a response my post.
3) To all - and to clarify since my words seem to be misinterpreted. Yes I'm very much a supporter of Sports Allies and understand all the good things it has accomplished for gays and inclusiveness in sports. My point was - I appreciated the Rowers raising money for their rowing club AND ..yes,.... AND I totally agree with partnering with Sports Allies. My point was that it seems to have drifted more from both - to heavy on the Sports Allies end and while thats super for Sports Allies, I still kind of miss the simple shots of the rowers in their boats , and their element of rowing (university support or not... right or wrong.. I still miss the simplicty of the rowers doing their thing. I'm allowed to feel what I feel and the way I feel is not to be attacked because of a misinterpretation of something I've written. I'm not a confrontational person guys and don't say things to pick a fight ..normally. Simply saying I have mixed reservations about the direction this is going but yet I do understand their thoughts to keep things fresh and new. So I see and understand and ACCEPT the variety of opinions.
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Angus_wr
Hi, All.  Let's chill!  You all have valid perspectives.  

I think everyone will be happy that we intend to bring back more sport in future content.  As Jarod has pointed out, the current lack of sporting themes has been for reasons beyond our control.  

However, we DO have the world's number one rower in our WR19 content!  And he's naked.  So that's a start, right? 😁
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bejjinks
Jarod wrote:


Any gay man who is unhappy about the growth and other changes to the project needs to read up on what Sport Allies is all about: http://www.sportallies.org/
Sport Allies would not exist if the Warwick Rowers project had remained as it was in the early days. There also would be no full-frontal nudity. Robbie Manson wanted to take part because he understood the importance of what Sport Allies is trying to do and I'm sure that Alex and Sebastian took part for the same reason.
Anyone who wants to take part in the photo shoot is welcome as far as I'm concerned and I agree with letting people be their genuine selves which, naturally, includes allowing Robbie not to appear full-frontal if he was not comfortable with that.
Sport Allies is all about inclusivity and people not being discriminated against because of who they are. It saddens me greatly that there seems to be a number of gay men who don't care about what Sport Allies is doing, they just want their naked rowers.


Jared, I am not arguing with you. I'm one of the "new camp" myself. It's possible to want multiple things and for our wants to even contradict each other like wanting to eat cake and preserve the beautiful decorated cake at the same time. We all wanted it to stay the Warwick Rowers but like you, I also want Sport Allies and happily accept the changes that must take place for Sport Allies to exist.
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PVogt
To Jarod. 3 days ago you responded to a comment from me and I wanted to clarify. Under your #1 you referred to my use of the term 'profits' and that Angus nor the lads were in it for profit. Perhaps that was not the best word for me to use. What I meant by that was profits for the WR and Sports Allies (more $$ to support their cause). I did not intend for that to come across as personal profit for anybody.  ðŸ˜“😄
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Jarod
Raising as much money as possible for Sport Allies is entirely the point. Increasing the number and type of products available in order to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, and lately including guests who will help to advance the profile of Sport Allies, is not a negative thing for a fund-raising organisation to do. The success in that endeavour, and the resulting need to use a third party fulfilment company, has led to problems this year. Hopefully, whoever gets the task next year will do a better job.
Perhaps the critics of the direction that the Warwick Rowers project has taken, especially the gay men, can offer some suggestions as to how the same or greater level of fund-raising can be achieved while returning to how things were pre Sport Allies. Although it's unlikely that can happen given the attitude of the University. Rather than just complaining to the young men who are raising funds for a charity that, to be honest, should be very important to you, be constructive.
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Johannes Swagers

Many of the contributions in this thread have validity in their own right. What I think is underexposed is the inter-dependency / correlation between Sport Allies, the rowing team, the products and nudity. The existence of Sport Allies is something to be proud of, but its existence alone is not sufficient to get the message across. In order to raise funds, you need appealing products for a wide audience. In order to sell these products you need good advertising/publicity, or in this case strong ambassadorship. The mix of an amateur sports team, whose members pose for a naked calendar, sharing the proceeds of their fundraising for the good cause of inclusion in team sports, who promote their products themselves has proven to be a very powerful formula. Take one ingredient out of this mix and we just have to see how potent the remaining formula is. That is the situation we have now, thanks to the position, taken by the Warwick University.

It is clear that the Warwick Rowers can no longer be the ambassadors of the Sport Allies campaign. That is a huge loss, because they generated a great deal of free publicity (they were e.g. a news item on Dutch TV a few years ago). I think that the public awareness created by the media attention is not of lesser importance than money in the bank. Topics in a talk shows, a covering of a reward ceremony, a visit to parliament, participation in a Pride, any news item about their calendar being banned by totalitarian regimes all contribute to the Sport Allies cause. The Warwick Rowers did much more than raising funds. The fact that this real life sports team raised funds in this way – and not only for its own pockets – and actively promotes the products as well as the good cause, makes it unique. This team actually practiced what it preached. That is a rare feature in an era of spin doctors and fake news. The naked calendar project, combined with the campaign against homophobia in team sports is a match made in heaven. Professional marketeers can only drool over an opportunity to exploit something like that. For that reason Sport Allies should look for another sports team, that proudly takes over the ambassadorship and embraces the good cause. The chemistry/confidentiality between team members is priceless in public appearances and it also shows in the products. With many thanks to the Warwick Rowers, who led the way and proved just that.

The calendar is an appealing product. Naked calendars have always been associated with a bit of good fun, a bit cheeky and/or youthful boldness. It is therefore not indecent to have a Warwick Rowers' naked calendar in your house, but it will not go unnoticed either. It will probably evoke remarks and that is an excellent opportunity to start a discussion. We can all be advocates in the campaign against homophobia. Other products may be very effective as means in fund raising and have a raison d’etre for that reason, but will probably not reach such a wide audience. The combination of fund raising and creating awareness for the good cause, makes the calendar the  flagship product for me. Especially when it visualizes camaraderie in a team sports environment. The name Sport Allies is not chosen without a reason, I guess.

The name “Sport Allies” suggests it concerns sports and allies within the sports world. In this case gay-straight alliances. I am a strong believer in the benefits of alliances like that. Walking the path together will bring both parties further. Mutual respect results in feeling comfortable with your buddies in the locker room and may prevent for example unhealthy male bravery like bragging about bed experiences and making degrading remarks about women. If Sport Allies were to accomplish a healthy attitude towards sexuality/nudity and respect and inclusion of gays in team sports, that would be sufficient for me. It is always possible to tie in other good causes, but from a public appeal / marketing point of view, that dilutes the message.

One last remark. I do feel unhappy with the word “boys”. The rowers have the legal age to drive a car, to vote, to buy a house, to marry and as adults have made the decision to pose naked in front of a camera for a good cause. I find it a bit paternalistic to refer to them as “boys”, even if it is meant affectionately. It is just my opinion of course, but I want to make an appeal to anyone who agrees with me, to avoid that reference in the future.

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