While they may not be the Chippendales, the Jocks and Jills will be the only queer team participating in the Underwear Affair, a fundraiser that encourages participants to run or walk in their undies to raise awareness for “below-there” cancers.
As long as you’re comfortable and it’s legal, anything goes on Saturday, June 11, but onlookers can expect to see some colourful costumes along the racecourse, beginning at Carleton University.
“We want to be the flashiest team there, [with] probably some feather boas and definitely some fancy underwear,” says Daniel Hamelin, the team’s organizer.
Participants have the option of doing a 5-kilometre walk or a 10-kilometre run. Dan Burke, a Jocks and Jills team member, will be running the 10km for the second time in a row.
“Last year was a lot of fun,” he says. “I was in tux underwear provided by Stroked Ego and tux handcuffs. Yes, it was my first time dressing up as a Chippendales dancer.”
Hamelin is still deciding on his costume for the 5km walk.
“I have three different outfits because there is the run, the afterparty and the costume contest. If it does get too warm I will have a thong underneath, just in case. Maybe some body paints would be a good idea,” he says.
While the flashy costumes are fun, most participants are in the event for personal reasons.
“I’m walking for my father [a cancer survivor], for my family and for anyone who has had to deal with these ugly cancers. We shouldn’t just begin to screen in their ’50s,” says Hamelin. “The Underwear Affair was created to raise awareness and to show people that there’s nothing to hide. Don’t be shy, go get screened.”
Burke’s cause for running is similar.
“Most of my sponsors came through my family. No one wants to talk about getting a testicular or rectal exam. People find even the word testicals is awkward to say, but the more people are comfortable talking about it, the more likely they are to get tested,” he says.
The Jocks and Jills have been training and campaigning for the last few months. To date they have raised more than $3,000 for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.
The team has been sponsored by local businesses, with Stroked Ego on Bank St donating the team’s underwear and $2 from each sale of underwear until the event to the cause.
Come on out and support the Jocks and Jills this weekend and sneak a peek at some cuties in their underwear, running for a great cause. And be sure to make a donation.