Vienna’s Curler Derby Redefining Masculinity With ‘Fearleaders’

VIENNA, Dec 28 (Reuters) – Vienna’s feminine curler derby crew have a halftime present most spectators received’t overlook: a cheerleading squad of a unique sort.

Armed with blue sweatbands, comically tight shorts and a soundtrack heavy on 80s kitsch, the all-male Fearleaders ship performances which are camp, acrobatic and crowd-pleasingly humorous throughout the roller-skating competitors, however their message is critical.

“We actually want to make individuals assume – how is a person presupposed to behave? How is a person supposed to bounce?” one of many Fearleaders, Romed Felderer, a 33 -year-old social employee, mentioned in an interview.

The group’s web site provides: “Fearleading for us means taking concern away. Particularly from males. Worry of not being sturdy sufficient, not behaving manly sufficient, not performing masculine sufficient. We wish to eliminate sexual repression, gender inequality, poisonous masculinity, homophobia, transphobia … and lots of different fears.”

The novice group was created in 2013 by mates who have been primarily college students on the time. It has grown to round 29 members, roughly half of whom at present carry out.

The Fearleaders additionally publish a calendar that funds their operations, which embrace touring to away matches in opposition to different European sides.

Regardless of their modest means and being tied to a sport with a restricted viewers, the group are formidable about broadening their enchantment.

“It could be beautiful to be invited to the Ellen Present,” mentioned Andreas Mayer, a 39 -year-old tutorial, referring to the U.S. speak present hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.

(Reporting by Leonhard Foeger and Francois Murphy. Modifying by Patrick Johnston)