Calendars are objects that play a central role in most of our lives. We all have a social calendar, although some are busier than others. Calendars help us plan our busy schedules at the University, ensuring that we go to lectures (or at least the majority of them), tutorials and additional commitments, whether they are sport, society or music events. Calendars tend to emerge in stores around this time of year, as business owners anticipate a rush on one of the stock Christmas presents (also a necessity for the year ahead).
Take a minute this year and perhaps move away from the usual dog, cat, nature, or football themed calendar you usually go for. Instead, opt for the Sports Stripped calendar, which is produced by some incredible students at the University. This year, 14 sports clubs were keen to get involved in the Sports Stripped calendar. Talking to Sarah Binns, a member of the 2017 calendar committee, revealed interesting information about both the history of the calendar and what the committee expects to achieve with the forthcoming edition. The calendar has been produced for over five years now and has always been created for charity.
Last year was a bumper year for the committee, with sales earning over £2,800 for the Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT). That sum is obviously hugely impressive, and it came from the sale of calendars, mugs, prints and tickets for the organisation’s official launch event at the Union. The end profits represented a huge increase from 2015’s attempt, leaving this year’s committee with a high bar to meet. Indeed, the committee is a little reticent to suggest they might break that record again this year. Because the amount raised last year was such a huge record for the project, a realistic goal is not yet known. Building off of the strong relationship established with TCT during last year’s endeavours, the Sports Stripped committee will continue to help make a difference for young people suffering from cancer. The funds raised will be an invaluable contribution to the continued fight against this disease. At the same time, the calendar itself celebrates the incredible sporting culture at this University, where over 55 clubs take part in regular high-level competition.
As you can see from the above images, the quality of photography for this year’s edition is impeccable as well as incredibly tasteful. Sports Stripped has managed to incorporate the togetherness of sports clubs at this University, as well as clubs in some competitive scenes. One of the most impressive aspects of this year’s collection of teams is its mix of sports and genders, and speaking to Binns revealed that the committee actually had to turn teams away this year. Netball, cheerleading, handball, men’s hockey, volleyball, women’s rugby, women’s golf, surf, water polo, women’s basketball, women’s football, ultimate frisbee, women’s lacrosse, and polo will make up the contingent in this year’s compilation, which is set to go on sale in November.
The calendars in full will be revealed at the Sports Stripped launch event, held in the Union on Wednesday 23 November. All ticket sales will go directly towards the money raised for TCT. The launch event last year was a huge success, and the committee is hoping that this year will be even better. The night will take the typical format of a Sports Night in 601, but with the added attraction of featured photos shown on the dance floor’s big screens throughout the evening. Information about TCT and the work it does will also be available, and attendees are encouraged to give donations if they feel so inclined.
Calendars are expected to go on sale during the last several weeks of the semester, but it is highly unlikely that they will last that long. The calendars were sold very quickly last year, and with approximately 200 on sale, you will have to register your interest early. Individual prints are available as well, but they are only available on an order-by-order basis. I cannot encourage you enough to try and purchase one of these calendars. The committee has done some sterling work, and all of the money raised is going to an incredibly worthy charitable cause. Most of you will know someone who is featured in the calendar (let’s face it, St Andrews isn’t very big, and everyone knows everyone here), and you will want to support your friends as well as an incredible cause. Credit must also go to the committee.
Its members are so driven to make Sports Stripped a success that their drive and enthusiasm rubs off on both the calendar and the launch event. Keep your eyes peeled for more information about sale details and the calendar’s launch event on 23 November.