CN&CO’s partner, Purple Group, a listed financial services company voted #1 online stockbroker by the Financial Mail/Intellidex/Investor’s Monthly, is made up of a dynamic bunch of Purplistas. One of these inspirational people is Waylon Smit, who works in the sales team at Purple. Waylon is part of the JoziCats – an inclusive rugby club that is passionate about rugby and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights. When CN&CO’s chief señor Carel Nolte (who, alongside fellow CN&CO partner, Kurt “The Leb” Solomon, spends a big chunk of time at Purple) met with the Jozi Cats chairman this week, he was once again inspired by what a small group of people can do when they believe in themselves.

CN&CO not only believes in keeping active and fit for a better quality of life, we also believe in doing good. Some of the team at CN&CO have been actively involved in making a difference through sports by participating in various running events to raise funds and awareness for charity purposes.

Our friends at Nutreats, Feige and Zissy Lewin, are also avid runners and have completed six marathons between them. Through Nutreats they are able to provide knowledge on leading a healthy lifestyle that will result in a healthy body, mind and life, as well as provide information about the current sporting scene.

This goes to show that the power of sport should not be underestimated. It is shifting boundaries.

If you haven’t yet checked out the JoziCats, do so here. We love their ad campaign (read press release below) and can’t wait for the new one in February (Carel heard about it today and it is mindblowing!). And an additional Purple link – the latest sponsor, Exclusive Books (read press release below) has a common shareholder with Purple – none other than the CEO of the Post Office, Mark Barnes. #6degreesofseparation

Jozi Cats – Africa’s First Gay and Inclusive Competitive Rugby Team Launches Bold Campaign

Johannesburg, 6 May 2016: Jozi Cats – Africa’s first gay and inclusive competitive rugby club has launched a bold new initiative to recruit more players.

The campaign, spearheaded and created by the Head of Havas PR South Africa, Chris Verrijdt, uses players from the rugby team in a series of shots with derogatory gay terms that question the perception of the kind of gay man the players are.

“From the outset we wanted to be disruptive, but we also had to be sensitive” says Verrijdt. “Some of the guys are still coming out to either friends, family or colleagues, so they were involved in every step of the process.”

Verrijdt continues, “We had to make sure everyone was comfortable with the final outcome and I need to applaud each and every one of them for their bravery as this campaign will definitely start a conversation.”

For Jozi Cats Chairman, Teveshan Kuni, the campaign was “right place; right time” as although the team had been around for a few months, recruiting new players had plateaued.

“The truth of the matter is that many of our players don’t feel like they can be openly gay and be a rugby player in South Africa,” says Kuni. “So we started Jozi Cats as a space where they could be both. The club is somewhere that players can play social and competitive rugby in a safe and non-judgemental environment.”

Kuni goes on to say the club caters for all levels of rugby experience with teams for touch, tag and full contact rugby disciplines with practices held at Wanderers Sports Club on Thursday nights and Saturday mornings.

In terms of where the club is headed, Kuni has ambitious goals.“Our sights are set firmly on representing South Africa at a global gay rugby level,” he says. “Everyone sees the heart of rugby lying within two nations, New Zealand and South Africa and it’s a tragedy that we don’t have a team, despite gay club rugby being around for over 20 years. But in order to do that we need the skills, support, sponsorship and ultimately the players.”

When asked about the campaign, Kuni says it was very important to use actual players from the club. “Over-and-above everything else we wanted to show that these are just ordinary guys who love playing rugby and who happen to be gay.”

View the behind the scene video here.

Here’s the recent press release:

Exclusive Books Signs On As Lead Sponsor of Jozi Cats #BTheWhistle #GayRugbyTour

Johannesburg, 9 December, 2016: Exclusive Books, South Africa’s largest bookselling chain, has signed on as lead sponsor for the Jozi Cats #BtheWhistle #GayRugbyTour.

The tour which aims to blow the whistle on homophobia in sport, while inspiring other LGBTQI communities to start their own gay and inclusive rugby clubs – one of the Jozi Cats’ key values, kicked off in Bloemfontein over the weekend.

“Sport is one of the last few pockets of our social fabric where homophobia is tolerated and socially acceptable,” says Jozi Cats vice chairman, Anthony Seger.

“This does not meet the values of good sportsmanship and mutual respect, and for this reason we decided to take bold action by going on the road to speak up about it.”

The values, the heart of the club that describes itself as a “people association” first and a sports club second, are what attracted Exclusive Books CEO Benjamin Trisk to getting involved.

“Exclusive Books is more than just a book retailer, it exists as a companion to Life,” says Trisk.

“We are in the business of complementing and challenging perceptions of the world and it was for this reason that we decided to support the Jozi Cats in their quest to do the same. Their values of diversity, inclusion and good sportsmanship mirror our own. They challenge the status quo of what is no longer appropriate or permissible in sport in South Africa and across the world.”

The Jozi Cats Exclusive Books #BTheWhistle #GayRugbyTour includes “Big Gay Rugby Day” Touch Rugby Clinics in Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Plettenberg Bay and Khayelitsha, a fundraiser at the La Paz restaurant in Knysna and a touch rugby tournament with Cape Town-based gay rugby club, BLIGHT, and the newly formed Stellenbosch gay rugby club, steLGBTouch at Green Point Salesian FC in Cape Town, on Friday 16 December 2016.