RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Two of Richmond’s own are ready to represent their hometown, the Commonwealth, and the United States on the international stage. On October 3, Chad Roberts, President of the RVA Beard League and Josh Black, Vice President of the RVA Beard League, will be a part of the U.S. delegation competing in the 2015 World Beard and Moustache Championship in Leogang, Austria.
350 competitors from 21 countries across the globe will converge upon the ski town situated in the Austrian Alps to compete in eighteen different categories.
Roberts and Black will be competing in the Full Beard Freestyle and Full Beard with Styled Mustache categories, respectively. The two are no strangers to beard competitions. Between the two of them they have competed in over 50 charity facial hair competitions over the last several years, landing on the podium nearly every time.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to go, compete, and represent RVA,” Black says. “No matter the outcome, this is a bucket list opportunity that is equally exciting and humbling.”
Since October 2012, the RVA Beard League has been a proud member of the host organization, the World Beard and Moustache Association (WBMA), and was one of the few North American clubs admitted early on. Richmond was previously represented at the World Beard and Moustache Championships in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany in 2013. Roberts and Black will be the only representatives from a Virginia facial hair club, traveling as a part of the sixty-person U.S. delegation.
The World Beard and Moustache Championship occurs every odd-numbered year and has been a tradition for twenty-five years. In acknowledgement of the growth in participation by Americans, the Championship will be held here in the U.S. in Austin, Texas in 2017. In accordance with WBMA guidelines, Roberts and Black intend to make a bid to bring the World Beard and Moustache Championship here to Richmond in 2021.
“We’re often people’s first exposure to Richmonders, and when we travel we see ourselves as city ambassadors,” Roberts says. “Our participation in the World Championships is a way to help redefine RVA to others and show them that Richmond is a great city, filled with amazing people.”
Facial hair competitions are a great way to promote a positive image for facial hair and the proceeds traditionally benefit a local charity. The RVA Beard League, which Roberts founded, has held four competitions locally, drawing international competitors, and has cumulatively raised over $30,000 for Richmond charities.