Brothers help club turn out a hit with calendar
EVEN for a team of fighting fit young men who've done it all before, this was a step into the unknown.
Three-times All-Ireland club hurling champions, Portumna didn't shirk the challenge and the club stalwarts cast aside all inhibitions to strip down to Mother Nature.
All-Star pin-up brothers, Joe and Ollie Canning are among the group who have revealed all for the Portumna Hurling Club calendar 2012.
Only a few well-placed props ensured that the Censorship of Publications Office did not have to be alerted.
The hurling heroes, several of whom have starred for their native Galway, got their kit off in a club fundraiser and also to help Cancer Care West.
And the steamy calendar has been flying off the shelves in the south Galway hurling stronghold since it was launched less than a fortnight ago.
"The girls here have all been enjoying looking at the lads in a different light," said local store manager Brenda McClearn.
"It has certainly put a bit of fun into Portumna over the last couple of weeks", Brenda added.
The two Canning brothers were joined by their other brother Ivan for the delicate photo-shoot at the family hurley manufacturing business on the outskirts of Portumna.
Joe Canning also features in a very macho cover of the calendar alongside fellow club and county players Damian Hayes and Andy Smyth.
Not many people turn their back to a camera, but Conor O'Hare thought it was the better option as he posed in the altogether cleaning the windows of local sports outlet, Cul Sports, which is owned by club chairman, Damian Coleman.
"We got local businesses to sponsor each of the months and that has covered the productions costs, so we are hoping to initially sell 1,500 calendars," said Damian.
"The lads were all up for it and there were no dramas at all. So far the sales have been going really well and I think people have got a great kick out of it.
"It's very hard to keep a club alive in this time of recession, so when we came up with this idea we put together a committee and they spent 14 months putting all the pieces in place and making sure the photos were done tastefully.
"Some of the lads were braver than others and one or two were even a bit too brave for their own good. These lads all train hard and are proud of their bodies," Damian added.