The Chosen FEW team
The Chosen FEW lesbian soccer team has been awarded a partial grant to participate in the upcoming World Outgames in Antwerp, Belgium, but they still need support from the community to make it there.
Comprised of 25 young black lesbian women from around Johannesburg who are activists for LGBTI rights, the team is a project of the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW).
According to FEW, the purpose of Chosen FEW is “to strengthen sports activism… so that we are able to defend and advance the rights of women, particularly lesbian women.”
Fourteen players from the team have been awarded the grant by the event’s organisers to participate in the World Outgames, which take place from 31 July to 11 August.
Each player will receive free registration, free accommodation and around R2,000 towards their travel costs.
FEW said the players are “extremely excited” about the news and are looking forward to the Games. However, the team remains in need of financial support for the players to be able to take advantage of this opportunity. This includes funds for visas, flight tickets, proper training material and soccer equipment.
Captain of the team, Skaps Pinky Zulu, said: “We would like to request donations or support from every LGBTI community, families, friends, supporters, departments of sport, arts and culture and other relevant departments.”
She added: “We are going to the World Outgames to represent our country and as young lesbian citizens of South Africa we feel that its time our sports departments become inclusive by taking part in LGBTI activities and recognising that we have talents.”
Chosen FEW has previously participated in international LGBTI sporting events, including the Chicago Gay Games in 2006 (winning a bronze medal), the London Football Championships in 2008 (placing fourth) and the 2010 Cologne Gay Games (winning third place).
The World Outgames is a quadrennial global event, hosted by a selected city, for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and intersex (LGBTQI) community and open minded friends based upon three pillars: sport, culture and human rights.
Chosen FEW, which is planning a series of activities to raise money, said it is aiming for a gold medal at this year’s event.
If you would like to help Chosen FEW, please contact Dikeledi Sibanda on 011 403 1906 / 076 5123 974 or email firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com.