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CALMzine: TALKING BALLS

Cover art by Allan Deas

After watching our film of pro-rugby player Danny Sculthorpe speaking about feeling suicidal, a friend said ‘it takes balls to do that’.

This got us thinking… what does it mean to have balls in 2017? Does it take balls to be vulnerable? And why do many men find it easier to talk about ball games than almost anything else? We need to talk balls.

So… suns out, balls out. The summer issue of CALMzine has us talking balls – from rugby players tackling mental health taboos to festival balls-ups, and a very ballsy man without testicles. 

 

TACKLING TABOOS: RUGBY LEAGUE’S MENTAL WELLBEING MOVEMENT

Of all the ball games, rugby league is leading the way in supporting the emotional wellbeing of players, to understand why, we spoke to ex-pros and campaigners Danny Sculthorpe and Luke Ambler.

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TERRACE CULTURE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE MISOGYNIST COSPLAY

Bar a few trailblazers like Rio Ferdinand and recently Steven Caulker – football didn’t have quite the same level of discussion and support as the rugby league community. Why hadn’t the culture responded to challenges in the same way? Clapton FC fan Tom Victor tells us why his supporters club are leading the way in terms of inclusivity and solidarity.

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A COMPUTER GENERATED CHARACTER HELPED ME COPE WITH LOSS

Jonny Sharples shows the big boys how it’s done – using the Football Manager online community to raise awareness around male suicide in a very creative way.

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GALLERY: A SIMPLE TRIBUTE TO WEST HAM

Photographer Mike Fordham documents days supporting his beloved West ham, warts and all.

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DO YOU NEED BALLS TO HAVE BALLS?

That’s the question CALM’s biggest balls enthusiast, Rachel Stephenson asked two-time testicular cancer survivor, Ben Bowers. Spoiler: no.

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FESTIVAL BALLS-UPS

As festival season fires-up we caught up with some top DJs, bands and musicians who gave us the lowdown on who to check as well as their biggest festival balls-ups including Mary Ann-Hobbs getting drenched at a classic Nirvana gig.

 

If there’s an overriding message from the men who share their stories in these pages, it’s this: it’s ok to balls things up sometimes, everyone does, and it takes big balls to own it and get help.

Read CALMzine in full

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don't share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.

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