Is this a “jock” environment?
Not at all. Most of us are regular guys and we try to create an environment that does not perpetuate the “jock culture” which kept many of us away from rugby. We strive to create a safe and inclusive environment for all types of people.
Do I have to be fit?
Come as you are. Many of us started unfit and our coaches helped us get fitter with training and our weekly Touch Rugby games. Some players also do extra gym sessions at their discretion.
What does Gay and Inclusive Rugby mean?
It means that we are a rugby club for straight, gay, bisexual and transgender people who identify as male. We never ask anyone to self-identify – we realise that everyone has a personal journey and that we create a safe space for them to be themselves.
Do I need prior rugby experience?
No you don’t! You don’t have to know any rules, any players or even have watched a game. We cater for absolute beginners! Actually around 80% of our current team have never played rugby before!
What if I have never done sports before?
Not a problem. Never too late to come get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air. And you will also realise that we’re a team of mixed body shapes, sizes and fitness levels.
When do you practice?
We practice on Saturday mornings from 8-11. From 8-9 we have additional fitness for anyone who needs. From 9-11 we have training. We also play touch rugby league all year round on Thursday evenings. It is split between Spring, Summer and Winter leagues and the periods in between we will train on Thursday evenings too!
What is the environment like?
We have coaches who have done IRB Level 1 coaching courses and also coaches who have played years of club rugby. They understand that we’re older players who are starting out a bit later in rugby. You can also expect everyone to welcome you and include you in what we do on the field. And expect a lot of jokes and a ton of laugher – it’s got to be fun too!
What can I expect at practice?
Coaches generally do a warm up, stretching, 20 minutes of fitness, practicing skills and at the end we play a bit of touch rugby.
What formats of rugby does the club offer?
We play touch rugby and are putting together a contact rugby team. We also want to use tag rugby as a bridging between the two. We have some players that want to practice for the exercise and social aspect and that’s okay too.
Do you have change rooms and showers?
The main Diggers clubhouse does (underneath the bleachers) but generally we all arrive ready for rugby and leave afterwards sweaty and full of rugby glory.
I’m a bit introverted or shy. What can I expect?
A lot of smiles and people saying hello. A mix of characters, types of people and a mix of introverts and extroverts. It’s a mixed bag of people.
Is this a “hook up” thing?
Not at all. Though some of the players are in relationships or partnerships the purpose of the team is one of a safe and comfortable sports environment and also a place to make new friends.
What if I don’t want to play rugby games but just practice?
You will never be expected to do anything you are not comfortable with. If you want to play touch games or work hard to try your hand at contact rugby next year we cater for that. If you’re a great rugby player and want to play top class rugby you are welcome to also train with our Diggers Rugby teammates. But if you only want to practice that’s good too.
What about supporters – can people come support but not necessarily play?
Of course! Come by and see what we do. And you may be inspired to join in too. Or maybe just sit and enjoy a lovely Highveld day and the fun atmosphere that is Jozi Cats.
Are there costs involved to join the team?
We have some of the best training fields, facilities and equipment in Johannesburg and this comes at a cost. Regular team members are required to obtain a membership to Diggers Rugby (see website link) and Jozi Cats. We make it easy for you to do that via debit order too.
|Jozi Cats Membership||R150 per month|
|This includes Diggers membership fees.|
First 2 weeks practice and training for free
Speak to us about financial assistance if you require. We strive to not let financial circumstances prevent people from joining our team. We will keep this confidential at all times.
What do my membership fees get me?
Membership fees allow us to access to the Diggers Rugby Club facilities and discounts up to 19% at the main restaurants and bars for cards with preloaded cash.
Our access to the Diggers Rugby Club facilities include well maintained grass fields, new state of the art scrum machines, the best tackle and impact bags, coaching and conditioning material for our coaches to utilise in building the coaching plans and helps to offset coasts of the consumables in managing the club (like rugby balls).
Paid Diggers members also are covered by medical aid negotiated by the club for their rugby players, which include paid up Jozi Cats members. Details will be provided.
Tell me more about your affiliation to Diggers Rugby.
We are an affiliate and feeder club into Diggers Rugby Club. They are one of the oldest rugby clubs in the country and boast 34 previous Springboks through their long history. We have a separate identity but have access to all their facilities, equipment, clubhouse and brilliant coaching staff and material. We know being affiliated to a club of this stature will help us achieve our goals of being a good home of rugby and a leading example of gay and inclusive rugby.
Is there paperwork involved?
Yes. We require you to complete a biographical form which includes items like your full name, details of your medical aid, any health issues which are relevant to rugby practice (e.g. asthma, epilepsy, allergies (like bee stings), current injuries, etc) and an emergency contact, amongst other information.
Is there an age limit?
Our youngest player is 21 and oldest 41 – so no! You need to be over 18 to join but if you are still in high school we would require written parental/guardian consent.
I see club pictures on social media. What about my privacy?
We always respect your privacy and will always ask before we take pictures. With group pictures we also always ask people not comfortable with that to step aside so as to be accommodated. This part of our core values of a safe and comfortable environment.
Are the Jozi Cats legit? What oversight and management are in place?
The Jozi Cats Rugby Club is a formalised Non-Profit Organisation (Ref 169-144) with the Department of Social Development in South Africa as a sports organisation. We are also in the process of applying for tax exemption with the South African Revenue Services.
We at Jozi Cats know that teamwork, dedication, ubuntu, community, friendship, helping hands and many hands make any worthwhile endeavour succeed.