Sport

Africa's first gay rugby team: Jozi Cats

Published 1338 GMT (2138 HKT) June 8, 2016
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South Africa's Jozi Cats, the first gay rugby team in Africa, is using a provocative advertising campaign to recruit members to its club. Werner Prinsloo/ Havas Village South Africa
"A stereotype isn't who you are, your sexuality doesn't determine your success in life," says the club's chairman Teveshan Kuni. Werner Prinsloo/ Havas Village South Africa
Formed in early 2016, the team features players such as flanker Desmond Roux -- who depicts the "Queen" stereotype in the campaign. Anthony Seger/Havas Village South Africa
"We're looking to debunk stereotypes, to challenge the preconception that because you don't look like a conventional rugby player, you can't be one," Kuni adds. Werner Prinsloo/ Havas Village South Africa
"Lots of international guys (from other gay clubs) feared hearing us forming because South Africa is one of the superpowers of the rugby world. Apparently some of the guys are really afraid of us," says Larry Viljoen -- AKA "Fairy." Anthony Seger/Havas Village South Africa
The team hopes to eventually be able to compete in international tournaments such as the Gay Games, Out Games and Bingham Cup. Werner Prinsloo/ Havas Village South Africa
"There's so much space to grow," says Nathi Khoza, who portrayed "Pansy." "The attraction for me is the physicality, high intensity, personal competition. It's always been a nice place to have a good bunch of mates as well." Anthony Seger/Havas Village South Africa
"It's skills, it's fitness, it's love, it's dedication," Kuni says. "If you've got all of that you can be successful in anything, including rugby." Werner Prinsloo/ Havas Village South Africa
"We were looking to recruit players and I think it's done more than that," Kuni adds. "It's started a conversation about homophobia in sport, more specifically homophobia in rugby." Anthony Seger/Havas Village South Africa
Kuni says the machismo of South African rugby has discouraged many LGBT lovers of the game from taking part. Werner Prinsloo/ Havas Village South Africa
"We're running a campaign to make awareness of people who are homosexual in our society to have courage to actually step out," says Chris Herbst -- "Flamer" in the photo shoot. Anthony Seger/Havas Village South Africa
For more information on the team, visit the Jozi Cats Facebook page. Werner Prinsloo/ Havas Village South Africa