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Naked rugby calendar girls blown away by demand

Published: 10:08AM Friday December 10, 2010 Source: ONE News

One of the stars of a naked women's rugby calendar says she's overwhelmed by requests to buy it.

Bekki Abernethy, Miss March in the Old Boys-University Rugby Calendar 2011, told tvnz.co.nz she wasn't prepared for the media and customer demand.

"We didn't have anything in place to deal with the sheer amount of interest the calendar has generated," she said.

Along with Facebook and TradeMe orders, Abernethy said she has had to get her brother to set up a website  to deal with all the orders and publicity.

"We thought that would make it easier for people trying to purchase it from overseas," she said.

The demand for the calendar means they will have to print more.

"We only planned on 1000 and we've hit that. We keep taking orders but let people know it'll be a week turn-around as we do another batch of printing.

"I'm blown away by the coverage. I walked into the local dairy and saw that my buttocks made the front page of The Dominion Post," she said. "And I choked when I saw myself on the South African Sports Illustrated site."

The rugby lock for the Wellington club side said like anything, there have been negative responses as well as positive "but the debate that it is causing is only raising the profile of the sport".

"This is what I hoped to achieve in creating the calendar. Through raising the public's awareness of women's rugby, we are generating more interest and support of the sport and as a result of this, we will attract more women's players.

"It is about breaking down the stereotypes and encouraging potential women players to see that you don't have to be a certain size, temperament or demeanor to play," the university student said.

The calendars cost $20 and the proceeds from sales will go towards the women's team expenses, travel costs, a new uniform and much-needed new equipment.

"At the moment we play in the boys' hand-me-downs," Abernethy said. "They were skin tight and fitted on them but on us they're like parachutes in the wind. However, right now it looks like we'll have expenses covered for a few decades so we're looking into giving a portion to a charity."

Abernethy said her Old Boys-University club rugby side hadn't done anything like this before and the photos for the calendar were captured by a novice photographer.

The team stripped for the risque shoot at Wellington's Basin Reserve on a Sunday morning, and drew their biggest crowd of the year.

Those venturing through the famous cricket ground were stopped in their tracks by a pack of naked flesh, as the team crouched, paused and engaged.

"There is a perception we've hired a team of professional people to do this for us," Abernethy said. "We haven't. We were keen to get our kits off for an idea we were all really passionate about."

She said she wanted to give something back to the club and game that had given her so much fun through university.

 

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