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Naked rowers to open gay sports center in Birmingham

Naked rowers to open gay sports center in Birmingham

The Warwick Rowers will join guests on 14 June to celebrate the launch of the UK’s first sports training space for the LGBT community at the Birmingham LGBT Centre.

The Vault offers a variety of physical activities; Yoga, Pilates, Table Tennis, Dance and other fitness classes.

It was established as part of the Birmingham LGBT Centre’s aim to provide holistic health and wellbeing services to the community.

Manager Dave Viney states: ‘We are thrilled to be launching the UKs first dedicated fitness space with the Warwick Rowers. It’s great to see homophobia in sport and homophobic bullying creatively challenged by a predominantly heterosexual sports team.’

To raise money for various charities the Warwick Rowers famously photographed a naked calendar, which has proved popular with LGBT fans all over the world.

They have a long-standing relationship with the LGBT community, actively supporting rugby champion Ben Cohen’s StandUp Foundation, which combats homophobic bullying.

At the free event, the rowers will be getting down to their lycra onesies, to discuss their experiences of making the calendars and the films, demonstrate how to get the most out of of a rowing machine, pose for photographs and introduce their hit films from 2012 and 2013.

They will also share details of the new anti-homophobia program they are developing for schools

In a separate initiative, the center has developed The LGBT Toolkit for Schools.

Research has found that LGBT pupils regularly experience prejudice and discrimination whilst at school and that their schools fail to meet their needs. This toolkit aims to support schools to address these issues.

Working with the Heritage Lottery Fund and researchers at the University of Birmingham, this project aims to support schools in meeting the needs of their LGBT students.

Richard Barrie, of Birmingham LGBT Schools Development states: ‘This toolkit is an innovative resource that can support teachers and schools in meeting the wellbeing needs of their LGBT pupils to ensure a positive educational experience for LGBT pupils free from prejudice and discrimination.’

An event sponsored by the National Union of Teachers will take place at Birmingham Pride on 25 May, 2.30pm at the Birmingham LGBT Centre to launch the Toolkit.