The Belgian Inclusive Rugby Club
WHO ARE THE STRAFFE KETTEN?
Created in 2010, the Straffe Ketten RFC is Belgium's first and only fully inclusive rugby club and a proud member of IGR (International Gay Rugby). We participate in different competitions and friendly matches in and outside Belgium. We are not only bound by our interest in rugby, but more so by our dedication to make rugby more inclusive. Our goal is to give everybody in Belgium a fair chance to discover rugby in a safe, fun, and inclusive environment.
Just like much of Brussels, our members come from all over the world. We currently have 70 subscribed members, with more than 20 nationalities. We are from different parts of the society, from all ages and body types and being an inclusive club, we are also very diverse in terms of sexual orientations.
Discover more about them on our "Our Team" page.
IS AN INCLUSIVE RUGBY TEAM NECESSARY?
Sports has often been perceived as a forbidden world for the LGBT community and even more so at professional level. Gender-based stereotypes are reinforced by media, both overt and covertly. The fear to be rejected or ridiculed has often kept many LGBT community members away from team sports and consequently missing out on its physical and mental health benefits. Being part of a team also helps with learning values such as accountability, dedication, and leadership skills. We visibly see how many of our members have had a boost in self-esteem and were happy to have found a group to belong to.
LGBT rights and recognition have improved over the years, but there is still a lot of work to be done. As longs as it is necessary, Straffe Ketten will continue offering the LGBT community a safe environment to start playing a sport that they would not otherwise have seriously considered. With our participation in national and international tournaments we want to break stereotypes and combat homophobia in sport.
Our main activities are training twice per week and playing matches.
But we are a very social rugby club: we participate actively in the LGBT community of Brussels, and march at the Belgian Pride and Antwerp Pride. Straffe Ketten has become a well-known name in Brussels, with plenty of supporters and sponsors.
We also organise meet-ups to watch international games for members and supporters alike. We have regular nights when we go out and meet our supporters and sponsors.
We have previously competed the in francophone regional league of Belgium, but currently, we play a calendar of friendly matches with teams across Belgium and Europe.
WHAT DOES STRAFFE KETTEN MEAN?
In Flemish Brussels dialect, a ket is a guy from Brussels, and therefore a straffe ket is a tough Brussels boy. Ketten is the plural of ket :)