LGBTQ+ rugby team, the Amsterdam Lowlanders, embraces diversity in naked calendar fundraiser

The Amsterdam Lowlanders, the only LGBTQ+ Rugby team in The Netherlands, presents their new naked calendar for 2020, with a particular spin: embracing diversity in a world dominated by stereotypes.

The goal of this calendar is to raise funds to participate in the biennial inclusive world rugby cup, the Bingham Cup, which will be organized in 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. The Lowlanders calendar is a reference to the inclusiveness of sport and rugby culture where there is room for everyone without pursuing a body idealized by today’s society. 

Photographer and player Henri Verhoef had his teammates pose at the Allard Pierson Museum. He states, “There is no sport as inclusive as rugby. Large, small, muscular, thick, juicy, long, thin: it is a sport where there is literally room for everyone. In this calendar we show that there is no real ideal image. The players are photographed as sculptures that show that there can be strength in vulnerability, and cohesion in diversity.”

Pieter Lokman, chairman of Amsterdam Lowlanders also states, “Once every two years, more than ninety gay rugby teams from around the world come together for one of the largest LGBT + amateur rugby tournaments in Rugby Union, the Bingham Cup. To get our entire team, including those who cannot afford such a trip to Canada, this year, our members have been working diligently on this calendar.”

Lokman goes on to say, “Passion is one of the core values of rugby, as well as respect, companionship and 100% commitment. Since 2003, the Lowlanders have been offering LGBT + people the opportunity to develop these sides of themselves, to be part of the global rugby family and to feel that there is room for everyone in this rugged sport.”

When thinking about the male nude in relation to sports one can’t really get around one of the most famous Greek sculptures ever made – the Discobolus of Myron. The sculpture, depicting a young man throwing a discus, dates from a time where mostly athletes, gods and heroes were used as subjects in art, always with ‘ideal’ bodies and proportions. 

In this year’s edition, players of the Amsterdam Lowlanders pose together with statues at the Allard Pierson museum. Combining the old with the new, they created new body sculptures, showing that there is no one true ideal. Sculptures that show that there can be strength in fragility and cohesion in diversion, and that opposites stand next to each other, on one pitch, as one team.

With more than eighty members (players and supporters), and an enormous diversity in the team where everyone has their own role, ARC Lowlanders are hoping to share their passion for rugby and diversity with the world.  

The calendar can be purchased starting from November 1. Click here to purchase. 

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