One of the reasons that we all value taking part in the calendar and filming is that supports Sport Allies as well as our helping us participate in rowing. We asked each member of the WR16 calendar cast to write a few words about what Sport Allies and challenging homophobia in sport means to them personally. Here's what Harry has to say...
I think anything that discourages people from taking part in sport and makes them lack the confidence to find a way to participate needs to be confronted, especially when it is something as harmful and backward-thinking as homophobia.
Personally, I went through a bad break up last year and it was one of the lowest points in my life ever. I joined rowing about the same time it happened and the discipline, training, new friends and social events opened my eyes so much and helped to keep me focused on the more important things in my life. I know sport is what got me through a really debilitating emotional low and helped me continue to achieve and progress at university. It was so important for me this year in a way that’s hard to fully articulate.
Personally, to think that the immeasurable benefits of sport are denied to someone because of something as horrendous as homophobia is hard for me to stomach. I’ve seen that it is still prevalent in other sports at uni and there's even more of it in schools. Raising awareness and breaking gender stereotypes needs to happen fast in sport at all levels and Sport Allies will help to make this happen. For me, this is a fight for a very important cause and that's why I'm in it.