Sports students get their kits off for charity

Cheerleaders - RGU Sport Calendar girls and boys:  Sports students get their kits off for charity

Sports club members and staff from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, have published a naked charity calendar to raise funds for local Urological cancer charity, UCAN.  The calendar, which features a series of light-hearted yet tastefully arranged photographs, goes on sale to the general public today (Wednesday 16 December).

The charity calendar is the combined brainchild of the University’s Student Association and RGU:SPORT facility.  The concept was one that was highlighted over a year ago as an excellent opportunity for the clubs to raise their individual profiles to the student body, whilst raising valuable funds for charity.  Vice President for Sports, David Hegarty, and RGU Union Health Officer, Catherine Hilton, moved the idea forward in the summer to be in time for the Christmas shopping season.

The pair took it upon themselves to recruit over ninety willing male and female subjects for the fundraising effort.  The final element fell into place when RGU:SPORT staff member and professional photographer, John Prince, offered to come on board as the creative force behind the calendar.

Late in the summer, members from nine sports teams joined a contingency of RGU:SPORT staff members in shedding their clothes in a series of photo shoots.  Sports clubs involved in the shoots included the University’s Water polo, Trampolining, Cheerleading, Swim, Triathlon, Horse Riding, Rowing, Men’s Football and Men’s Rugby teams.  The photo shoots were carried out in closed and secured settings to protect the public and also to calm the nerves of participants.         

“I never thought everyone would go through with it but it was a great laugh and done really well”, comments Men’s Rugby Team President, Euan Lutton.  “I just hope my Mum never gets a copy!”

Sponsorship for the calendar has been provided by the University’s Student Services department and the School of Health Sciences.  Funds have been put towards the printing and binding of 500 calendars, which are being provided at a vastly reduced rate by the University’s print and design facility, The Gatehouse.  As an incentive to buyers, Aberdeen-based sports massage therapist, Joseph Devlin, has donated two hundred pounds worth of free sports massage vouchers to the University sports club that buys the most calendars.  

The calendars, which have been priced at five pounds, are now available to staff, students and the general public.  They are stocked at RGU:SPORT at the University’s Garthdee campus, and also at the RGU:Union shop and bar on Schoolhill.  All proceeds will be donated directly to UCAN.    

“Selecting the charity was not a difficult process” states David.  “Both RGU:SPORT and the Students Association have previously worked with UCAN in various fundraising efforts and the calendar seemed like the perfect platform with which to continue this partnership”.     

“We’re delighted to be able to donate one hundred percent of the proceeds to this fantastic local charity and are very grateful to our sponsors and participants for helping us make this calendar possible.”

UCAN Fundraising Manager, Kate Synott said:  “We’re really grateful to all the teams who were brave enough to pose for the photos, and can assure them all that all the proceeds will be put to good use to support urological cancer patients and their friends and families, as well as raising awareness of cancer.”

“The concept of the calendar also addresses an important issue abut overcoming any embarrassment as early diagnosis of urological cancers such as testicular, prostate, kidney and bladder cancer can make all the difference.”

“I’m sure the calendar will be a huge success and wish the team all the very best.”

The naked charity calendar goes on sale today (Wednesday 16 December). It is priced at £5 and is available from RGU:SPORT at the University’s Garthdee campus, and also at the RGU:Union shop and bar, Schoolhill.

Ends                                                                      15 December 2009