The Jozi Cats is the first gay and inclusive competitive rugby team in South Africa. The club caters for adult beginners touch and contact rugby, as well as gay and inclusive competitive touch and mens contact rugby. Jozi Cats is also proud to represent South Africa in International gay inclusive men’s rugby.
Founded on 28th August 2015, we began our journey with simple ideals of building a competitive, social and diverse club which welcomes players from all of playing experience and who enjoy a love for rugby. In February 2016 we received a call to aid in the recruitment of new members and to increase the visibility of Jozi Cats as a safe and welcoming environment for the LGBTQI* community. Where anyone who shares our values can join JCR club and as one of the few clubs that cater for adult beginners or previously experienced players looking for some social or competitive touch or contact rugby.
And the “Rugby, Thats so Gay” Campaign was born.
Havas PR devised a bold campaign that turned gay stereotypes inside out by challenging you to ask “what does a gay rugby player look” and used the typical gay slurs one would here on the sports field to tackle homophobia in rugby. The campaign went viral and the Jozi Cats have been viewed by over 350 million people in over 146 countries worldwide.
There is no place for Homophobia in sport
Our sights are set firmly on growing gay and inclusive rugby within Jozi Cats Rugby Club and the rest of the country, while ensuring we remain a safe and harassment free environment for everyone who shares the values we believe in.
The Last Year At A Glance
Since our recruitment drive campaign back in May 2016:
- We have grown our club numbers from around 6 to 63 new Jozi Cats, doubling our numbers since December 2016
- Hosted an AGM and sworn in a new JCR Club Management Team
- Hosted our first Contact Rugby trials confirmed our first 10 contact players toward building a full team
- Organised Jozi Cats Rugby jerseys for the team
- Supported the LGBTIQ community with our presence at Pretoria & Johannesburg, where we had the honour of leading the march
- Hosted a 101 Touch Rugby Clinic for Adult Beginners – consist turnout of 25 – 35 players
- Produced a heartfelt video to create awareness and start a conversation about blowing the whistle on homophobia in sport
- Executed a cross country supporter funded #GayRugbyTour to promote inclusivity and diversity in sport and equality for all. To grow gay and inclusive rugby across the country and to blow the whistle on homophobia in sport.
- Hosted 101 Touch rugby clinic in Cape Town for the 3 clubs in the Western Province and was inspiration for the formation of the Khayelistha Cats a #SpiritOfCommunity and #SafeSpace initiative.
- Supported the LGBTIQ community with our presence at Cape Town Pride in March as well as hosted a 101 touch rugby clinic to grow gay and inclusive rugby in the Western Cape province in partnership with Western Province Touch Association
- Formed and entered a second Touch Rugby team into the Into Touch Rugby league at Zoo Lake Sports Club
- Made a strategic move to Diggers Rugby Club for the future success of our social mandate goals as well as growing Jozi Cats Rugby Club.
- Found a brave brand and values partner as the lead sponsor for Jozi Cats, now know as the ExclusiveBooks Jozicats
- Being the first non European and first gay and inclusive competitive rugby club from Africa to represent our continent at the Union Cup in Madrid in April
- Embarking on a local gay rugby tour to the Pink Loeries Mardi Gras & Fine Arts Festival in Knysna to show our support to the community and create awareness of our #SpiritOfCommunity #BtheWhistle and #SafeSpace initiatives.