Tell Virgin Active to ban swim coach Tim Osrin

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Tell Virgin Active to ban swim coach Tim Osrin

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Dear Ross Faragher-Thomas (Managing Director of Virgin Active South Africa)

We the undersigned demand that you immediately ban swimming school owner and coach Tim Osrin of the Simply Swimming school from using the Virgin Active gyms in Gardens, Athlone, Mitchells’s Plain and Steenberg. The Weekend Argus has reported how Tim Osrin not only assaulted Cynthia Joni as she walked to work in Kenilworth; but after he was charged with assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, he made the racist claim that Cynthia is “probably thinking, ‘this white guy slapped me, great … here comes my Christmas box’. People do these things, you know.” Mr Faragher-Thomas, you have previously claimed that Virgin have “absolutely zero tolerance for prejudicial behaviour”, and we expect you to follow through with this commitment.

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1,000 signatures

**Update** Our campaign has just won! Virgin have terminated the contract of Tim Osrin, as a swim coach and member of their health clubs. But the battle against gender based violence and racism isn't over. Click here to join our other campaign!

Kenilworth swimming school owner Tim Osrin got out of his car and assaulted Cynthia Joni, a domestic worker who was walking to work on October 2. Osrin was subsequently charged with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, but told the Weekend Argus that he was not sure “why he is being victimised”. He has defended his actions by stating that he thought Cynthia was a 'prostitute' and that she has trumped up the charges because he is white [1].


Photo of Cynthia Joni by Jason Boud, photo of Tim Osrin from Twitter

“She’s probably thinking, ‘this white guy slapped me, great … here comes my Christmas box’. People do these things, you know.” - Tim Osrin [1]

We must turn our outrage at racism and gender based violence into action. While Osrin faces charges, we need to fight for justice in the court of public opinion. Osrin’s swimming school runs classes for adults and children at 4 Virgin Active gyms across Cape Town. In the past Virgin has claimed it won't tolerate racism [2]. Let’s demand that they stop someone who’s racist and violent actions destroy people’s dignity.

[1] ‘He came up to me and just klapped me’ iol news 18 October.

[2] Gym racism row grows as Virgin’s Branson steps in. Mail & Guardian, 7 Feb 2012.

Showing 954 reactions

  • signed 2015-10-20 17:37:31 +0200
    He must go racist pig
  • signed via 2015-01-01 09:44:32 +0200
    Racism n GBV should not be tolerated at all.
  • signed 2014-11-28 07:16:45 +0200
  • signed 2014-11-24 23:32:34 +0200
  • signed 2014-11-13 13:41:50 +0200
  • signed 2014-11-04 08:46:36 +0200
    Thank you South Africa. We need to reunite against this A******.
  • signed 2014-10-28 08:18:55 +0200
    Tim is arrogant and has no remorse for his actions. You can’t justify bad behavior with pathetic excuses.
  • signed 2014-10-27 13:26:25 +0200
    Well done Virgin Active for cancelling Tim Osrin ‘moron’ contract! And reading further comments to justify his weak case..what an idiot. Hope he suffers further for all the hurt and humiliation he has inflicted on innocent people including Miss/Mrs Joni. And then committing these vicious attacks then driving off in his car advertising ‘SWIM’. Definitely a good candidate for a ‘mampara’ award!
  • signed via 2014-10-25 15:52:00 +0200
    I think it’s absolutely disgusting what he did. I still can’t believe he got out of his car and ATTACKed a COMPLETE STRANGER
  • signed via 2014-10-25 13:21:59 +0200
  • signed 2014-10-24 20:50:55 +0200
    Definitely taking my son out of his swimming school, I picked up his arrogance on a few occasions
  • signed 2014-10-24 10:57:43 +0200
    Osrin had no right whatsoever to attack a woman whether sex worker or not! This act was so inhumane and encourages violence and discrimination against sex worker who also are human beings with rights. He needs to pay fully for his sins! Sies maan~!! Nxaaaa
  • signed via 2014-10-23 20:29:40 +0200
  • signed via 2014-10-23 19:49:43 +0200
    Glad Virgin Active sorted this out. They would hate to feel the economic power of women in SA
  • signed 2014-10-23 17:05:37 +0200
  • signed 2014-10-23 15:22:53 +0200
  • signed 2014-10-23 14:54:30 +0200
  • signed 2014-10-23 10:43:49 +0200
    So sad!!!
  • signed via 2014-10-23 05:03:26 +0200
  • signed via 2014-10-23 02:00:52 +0200
  • signed via 2014-10-22 17:43:43 +0200
    Even if this person was a prostitute,no one has the right to beat her up. I dont think this i racially motivated,but anger,and that doesnt give him the right to do what he did.
  • signed 2014-10-22 15:34:29 +0200
  • signed 2014-10-22 14:53:32 +0200
  • posted about this on Facebook 2014-10-22 14:50:32 +0200
    Join the campaign! Tell Virgin Active to ban swim coach Tim Osrin after his violent assault and racist remarks.
  • signed via 2014-10-22 13:29:42 +0200
    This type of racist abuse is unacceptable, but especially in a country like South Africa, with its history of institutionalised racism. Virgin Active and other businesses, must actively tackle these issues, and ensure all of their employees reflect an inclusive ethos, rather than one that continues to promote violence, racism and sexism.
  • signed 2014-10-22 12:30:40 +0200
  • signed 2014-10-22 11:37:37 +0200
    I must say Capetown is full of racism, just because the lady is black then she is suppose to be the prostitute…isnt she worth of being the residence of that particular suburb? what made this Tim guy to think that she is a lady of the night, even if she was, who died and gave him a right to go around beating prostitutes???

    We will fight this racism thing….AMANDLA!!!!
  • signed via 2014-10-22 10:50:22 +0200
    virgin active must set an example of no Racism in its facilities
  • signed via 2014-10-22 09:56:50 +0200
  • signed 2014-10-22 09:51:26 +0200