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SC Janus: possibly the biggest LGBT sports club in the world

GSN meets the team behind Cologne’s SC Janus sports club with around 1,600 members
Members of Cologne's LGBT sports club SC Janus - at Gay Pride in Cologne in 2012.

As part of our continuing series profiling the world’s LGBT sports clubs, we spoke with Elisabeth Klois – vice chair of SC Janus, the LGBT sports club of Cologne in Germany.

When was the SC Janus club established?

Our club’s history dates back to 1980. It was first established by a group of gay volleyball-players.

What sports and activities does SC Janus offer its members?

We currently offer 45 different kind of sports, these include:

  • Boxing
  • Basketball, 
  • Cheerleading
  • Dance
  • Figure Skating
  • Handball
  • Running
  • Martial Arts
  • Tennis
  • Squash
  • Football
  • Swimming
  • Sailing
  • Wrestling

How many members does SC Janus have?

We have around 1,600 members. In the last 12 months we have grown by over 100 members. We have about 33% women and around 66% men. We are seeing an increase in the number of women members which is encouraging.

Do you take part in competitive events?

Yes. We take part in LGBT sports events such as Eurogames, and Gay Games, as well as local, national, and international league competitions.

What sort of role does SC Janus play in its local community?

We cooperate with Aidshilfe [‘AIDS Help’], Anyway, a local youth center for LGBT people, and the LSVD – the lesbian and gay alliance in Germany which is an organization that campaigns for LGBT equality.

Are there challenges to running the club?

We do have local problems such as the poor conditions of the municipal gyms, also there’s competition with the commercial gyms.

We’re always looking for attractive new offers for our members and we work hard to maintain a team spirit for all members across the whole organization, not just within the various sports groups. We also rely on volunteers for running events, competitions and the day-to-day operations of the club.

What are some of the key events or milestones that the club is planning for in the months and years ahead?

Recent milestones have been our club’s 30th anniversary and managing the Gay Games in 2010. For the future we are working towards the establishment of an annual multi-sport tournament.

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