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Oar-some! Warwick Rowers charity up for diversity award

Naked students’ famous calendar raises money for Sport Allies.

Sport Allies, the charity the Warwick Rowers raise money for, has been nominated for a prestigious European Diversity Awards.

The Rowers’ annual calendar, which raises a six-figure sum for charity each year, sees student sportsmen from Warwick Rowers stripping off for a good cause.

The calendar benefits the charity Sport Allies, which helps to promote inclusive sport, end homophobia in sport, and wants to see more LGBT+ people involved in sport.

According to the NUS, 47% of LGBT+ students who don’t participate in team sport say they find the culture around it alienating, which is something Sport Allies wants to change.

The Rowers class themselves as ‘allies’, and love the fact they have gay fans across the globe.

Sport Allies will be launching a new strategy and an academic report at the House of Commons on 26 October.

The awards, sponsored by Heathrow Airport, will take place at the Natural History Museum on 16 November. The ceremony celebrates best-in-class campaigns on diversity, as well as recognising individuals who’ve made vital contributions to equality and inclusion in business, media and wider society.

Sport Allies founder Angus Malcolm said: “We are delighted to be nominated for a European Diversity Award.  Eight years of anectodal experience in the Warwick Rowers project and three years of examining that in detail at Sport Allies have given us aclear picture of the role that sport plays in perpetuating inequality, and the massive potential for sport to become a leader in promoting inclusion. Now, alongside our first long-term strategy and our first in-depth research report, this nomination makes us feel like our voice is being heard.”

European Diversity Awards founder Linda Riley said: “Sport Allies and their lead fundraiser, the Warwick Rowers, fully deserve this nomination. Many LGBT+ people think of sport and wince. Sport at school and university was often frightening, rather than inclusive, with macho attitudes and a lack of acceptance. The Warwick Rowers help to show that it should be for everyone.”

The Warwick Rowers will be up against several incredible organisations in the charity category, including L’Arche, UK Black Pride, Eurochild and Ditch The Label.

Among the famous faces nominated are Loose Women’s Saira Khan and the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire (both nominated for journalist of the year). Munroe Bergdorf, who held L’Oreal to account on diversity and inclusion earlier this year, and David Lammy MP, who advocated on behalf of the victims of the Grenfell disaster, both earned deserved nominations in the Hero of The Year category.

For a complete list of nominees, go to: http://europeandiversityawards.com

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