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Barcelona’s gay swim team strips down for HIV

To fight homophobia in sport and raise funds for a local HIV organization experiencing budget cuts, Barcelona’s Panthers don their speedos for the world to enjoy
Barcelona's gay swim team has shot a swimsuit calendar for charity.
Photo by: Juan Pablo Santamaria.

A Spanish gay sport group got creative to fight homophobia in sport and raise money for a local HIV charity.

Barcelona’s gay swim team the Panthers decided to shoot a 2014 swimsuit calendar to help raise funds for BCN Checkpoint Centre, a local HIV testing, treatment and prevention center.

Group coordinator Mano Ventura told Gay Star Travel: ‘Checkpoint Centre does some great work with Barcelona’s gay community with regards to HIV treatment and prevention.

‘So many health services are experiencing budget cuts, we decided this year to help raise money for a local institution.’

The 60 swimmers are part of the larger Panthers group, which includes other LGBT sport groups including basketball, soccer and tennis.

‘The Panthers are dedicated to combatting homophobia in sport, so we’re not just gay and lesbian athletes, and we don’t only participate in gay-specific sporting events. We play with teams across the country and the world to show there’s no need fror hate among athletes.’

Photographer Juan Pablo Santamaria took over 2000 photos of the swimmers on the rooftop pool at Barcelona’s hetero-friendly Axel hotel.

The calendar costs €10 ($13) and is available for purchase online. Visit Gay Star Travel for stories, photos and tips on Barcelona and beyond.

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