The History of the Worldwide Roar

The History of the Worldwide Roar


An amateur photographer drove his ancient BMW and brand new Canon SLR from London to Coventry, where Warwick University is based. The BMW was fine but the camera broke down immediately. Luckily, we managed to borrow one from a shop in nearby Leamington Spa, and the Warwick Rowers calendar was born!


We began to find our feet – and an audience! After we went public as a gay/straight alliance, we started getting attention around the world.


Building on our early success, we managed to find some rare sunshine in the English summer.


We added our very first pull out centrefold – a tradition we have continued ever since. (The poster is now twice the size!)


The year we set up Sport Allies, the registered charity that now receives all net profits from the sales of Worldwide Roar products.


Things got so hot, we had to call the fire brigade!! We also toured the US and found a more reliable source of summer sun with our first calendar shoot in Spain.


A local landowner lent us his spectacular English country house and we had our first overseas summer shoot camp, as featured in our films ever since.


Probably the wettest summer in our calendar history, but we managed to shoot at a historic stately home in England before hitting the beach again in Spain.


Our biggest ever overseas shoot at an extraordinary property near Tarifa in the south of Spain. We undertook an art project that used a lot of paint and is showcased in our fifth book, Manifesto.


We celebrated our tenth anniversary with shoots in four countries, including a celebrity shoot in Sydney with world record holding Olympic rower, Robbie Manson.


We were happy to welcome old friends and new to our first shoot in Spain as the Worldwide Roar. The sun shone and we worked hard all day, then talked into the night about the future of the Roar, sharing the same feeling of excitement about a new beginning. We literally held the front page for our biggest shoot ever, too!!


It was a strange year for everyone, including those of us at WR. Our staff and volunteers work from remote locations all over the world, so there were a lot of zoom meetings at odd hours, and frantic efforts to create dynamic new content at a time when sport had ground to a halt and we could not travel. But we were proud that we nevertheless produced an entirely new calendar, lots of new digital content, and got ready to plan for the post-pandemic future of WR.


From rugby players in Manchester to pole dancers in London. From downhill freeriders in Mexico to athletes getting naked in public in Soho, London. The WR22 season saw us break out of our bubbles to recover from the pandemic with a world class calendar that brought dozens of new participants into the project.


We are still here to make your year! Are you ready to Roar? Our calendar celebrates the male nude. The female body is presented everywhere in our culture, generally for erotic pleasure, while men’s bodies remain relatively hidden. We believe that this is because the desires of straight men have dominated our culture, including taboos about looking at men’s bodies – especially if you are another man. Sport, where our project began, remains at the core of our work because of its role in defining masculinity and setting the boundaries for male intimacy. The calendar is just one small part of what we now produce every year at the Roar. We bring art and sport together to create incredible art books, stunning limited-edition prints, and most recently an innovative virtual exhibition that you can access anywhere in the world. Our exciting digital content that brings our ideas to life through incredible new films and photoshoots every single month, and we post almost daily on social media for those who do not have the resources or freedom to buy our paid content. We support male athletes to become more conscious of the rules that give them privilege as men, but also affect their own wellbeing and the lives of others. We give men the opportunity to ask themselves if the rules they grew up with are the rules they still want to live by today. We invite them to pose and play sport nude, as they did in the original Greek Games. This is not just to offer them an authentic but voluntary experience of the vulnerability that many others experience everyday whether they like it or not. It is also to show that the rules of masculinity have changed before and can change again.