The University of Liverpool’s Women’s Rugby Team’s Nude Calendar Raises Funds Charity and Empowers Women, All in One Go

The University of Warwick had better watch out — they’re not the only UK university whose sports teams are willing to strip down for charity. The University of Liverpool’s Women’s Rugby League team recently released a calendar of their own to benefit a good cause, and it’s all kinds of awesome. Shot by photographer Seb Castilho, the calendar’s nearly-nude photos are equal parts sexy, empowering, and humorous — because what’s the point of getting mostly naked if you can’t have a little fun with it?

Half the proceeds from the calendar, which is available for purchase online for £10 (about $15.60), will go to the charity Joining Jack. Jack is a six-year-old boy who likes making pillow forts, playing hide and seek, and pretending to be a Jedi — but he was also diagnosed in 2011 with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, or DMD. There’s no cure for the condition, but his parents decided not only to help Jack fight it, but to help people suffering from DMD all over the world fight it as well. Joining Jack works to raise funds for research as well as awareness about DMD. Said Liverpool team member Olivia Davison to Cosmpolitan, “We are proud to be raising money for such a good cause.”

The other half of the proceeds will fund the rugby team itself, so the benefits are twofold. Said Davison to the Liverpool Echo, “Women’s Rugby League is not currently widely played at university level and we lack funding to afford equipment and transport to away matches. We are also trying to encourage other universities to offer the sport to women and this money would help us do this.”

Remember when I said that the photos were all sexy, empowering, and humorous? I wasn’t kidding. Some of them feature some classic "fun and sexy" images (and these ladies are definitely hot):

Others feature them in their element, either playing rugby or training for it:

And a few of them show a cheeky sense of humor, like this recreation of the cover art from the Beatles album Abbey Road:

But I think this one is my favorite:

It’s a perfectly normal photo of a couple of university athletes going out together after a match — they just happen not to be wearing clothes. It’s wonderfully normalizing, depicting real women with real (and strong — they’re athletes, after all) bodies in a way that doesn’t equate nudity with anything other than… well, itself. Bodies are bodies, and sometimes they’re naked. End of story.

Snag the calendar for yourself here (bonus: They ship internationally!), and check out more photographs and other projects from Seb Castilho — who the rugby team thanks for donating his time and skill — at his website.

Images: Courtesy Seb Castilho (5)