Get your kit off…Oxford University Women’s Rugby team pose in a Naked Calendar to raise money for the charity Beat.
OURFC Women have stripped and posed in nothing but rugby boots and socks for their 2016 calendar. The team are supporting Beat, a charity committed to supporting those affected by eating disorders. Shot by Mark Barnfield, the calendar aims to promote positive body image and to encourage the further development of women’s rugby, in Oxford and elsewhere.
OURFC’s Women captain, Carly Bliss, explains why the team chose to support Beat:
“This year we specifically wanted to use the calendar to promote female athleticism and positive body image, highlighting that rugby is a sport for players of a variety of strengths and sizes. Beat is a fantastic charity, who work extremely hard nationally to support anyone affected by eating disorders or difficulties with food, weight and shape. They are very enthusiastic to work with OURFC Women on this project, and if each calendar sold gets just one person talking about these often-avoided topics, then OURFC Women and Beat have been very successful in their mission.”
The President of OURFC Women, Helen Lamb, described the shoot: “Despite the weather we all had a great day. The team really bonded and got behind the calendar and the aims of the charity, Beat. The majority of the team had never considered doing a naked calendar before but it was obvious that everyone was really keen to give it a go.”
Carly and her team mate Cecilia Peker told VERSA: “The calendar was a lot of fun to shoot and everyone was able to get involved in lots of different ways. We are proud that none of our photos are photoshopped, thus fully supporting our chosen charity Beat in the promotion of a positive body image. The money raised will be split between supporting Beat and developing women’s rugby within the University of Oxford.”
So far, the calendar’s website has had over 100,000 hits, and OURFC Women are acquiring a global fanbase, having received orders from Norway, Sweden, Jamaica, and Australia, to name but a few of the admiring nations.
Next month, the OURFC are set to play at Twickenham in the annual Varsity match. The tens of thousands of spectators at Twickenham will be worlds away from the 50 spectators the team usually has at their weekly BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Premiership matches.
Carly Bliss sees this as a huge step forward for Women’s Rugby, saying that “The Women’s Varsity Match has 27 years of history and I believe playing alongside the Men’s Varsity Match at Twickenham Stadium is the rightful place for this esteemed match.”
VERSA wish the team all the best at Twicks (“SHOE THE TABS”), and offers a huge congratulations to the calendar’s immediate and deserved success. We’re very much onside.
The calendars are £10 each, and can be ordered from http://www.ourfcwomensnakedcalendar.com