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.
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.
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.
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.
Photographer Mike Fordham documents days supporting his beloved West ham, warts and all.
That’s the question CALM’s biggest balls enthusiast, Rachel Stephenson asked two-time testicular cancer survivor, Ben Bowers. Spoiler: no.
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
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