WHAM! A queer social rugby club based at Wits was started this year by Witsie Gabriel Khan and a group of his friends.
“I love rugby and I love the queers, it was the natural thing to do!” said Khan, who works for the Gay and Lesbian Archives (GALA).
Wham! is made up of Wits students, some ex-Witsies as well as people who are linked to Activate, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Intersexual student society (LGBTI), as well as other GALA members.
“Wham! is about creating a healthy social space for queer people to meet and make friends, outside the usual scene of bars and clubs.”
“Although we have other queers who heard about rugby, and decided to join in as well, Activate has been great in supporting this initiative,” said Kahn. Khan said Wham! members come together every Saturday and play a game of rugby, usually followed by a drink and the vibe is “usually quite chilled.”
“There aren’t many safe spaces for queers to meet socially, and I thought sport is a healthy way to get out there and have a good time.”
Although Wham! started as a social game, the team are looking to become more competitive and hope to play against other teams such as the Cape Town based queer rugby team, Blight Rugby club. “We’d be keen to play against other Wits teams, just for the fun of it!” said Khan.
Anyone can join in the fun and players don’t necessarily need to be queer.
“We don’t discriminate against straight people. It’s mostly about having a good time and it’s also a great way to get fitter,” said Khan.
Khan said anyone who is interested can join the team on Saturday, even if it’s just to watch and support. Khan said Wham! has a Facebook page with information on practices and events.