Microsoft South Africa becomes a Jozi Cats sponsor


Jozi Cats Rugby Club, Africa’s first gay and inclusive competitive rugby club, has signed a partnership agreement with Microsoft South Africa.

The partnership will see the technology giant providing cloud-based services to the club as well as supporting the club and its growth. The announcement comes just a few months after Microsoft signed a similar agreement with the South African Rugby Union (SARU).

“Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more, and Microsoft Philanthropies helps deliver on this by ensuring that technology reaches those who need it most, including non-profit organisations on the forefront of solving some of the world’s toughest social and environmental challenges,” says Charlene Verzmoter, Philanthropies Lead at Microsoft South Africa. “We are proud to have been able to support the Jozi Cats with their technology needs.”

The partnership with Microsoft continues its long legacy of supporting the LGBTI+ community worldwide, dating back to 1993 when it became the first Fortune 500 company to provide same-sex domestic partnership benefits. It was also one of the first companies to include sexual orientation in its corporate non-discrimination policy.

Since then, Microsoft has continuously pushed for diversity and inclusion, something that Jozi Cats President, Sarel Myburgh is acutely aware is much needed.

“We are incredibly proud of this milestone between our two organisations and it’s a partnership in every sense of the word,” says Myburgh. “Not only have Microsoft South Africa supported us with our cloud services, but they have also opened the doors to partner with us as we continue to grow our club and the conversation for gay and inclusive rugby in South Africa and north of our borders.”

Jozi Cats was founded in 2015 and gained international prominence with its 2016 “Rugby That’s So Gay!” campaign. Based in Johannesburg, it provides a safe and harassment-free environment for the LGBTQ+ community to play rugby. It has played internationally and around the country and hosted numerous initiatives to promote inclusivity in sport.

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