The clock has started counting down on one of the world’s largest GLBTI sporting events, with a year to go until thousands of athletes and visitors descend on Sydney for the Bingham Cup.
Known as the ‘World Cup’ of gay rugby union, the Bingham Cup (27-31 August, 2014) will see up to 40 teams from around 17 countries arrive in Sydney – the first time the event has been held in the southern hemisphere – contributing millions of dollars to the local economy.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City was proud to provide $50,000 in financial and in-kind support to an event that helps break down stereotypes of the GLBTI community and supports local businesses.
“I hope that as well as generating economic benefit for the city, the Bingham Cup will also help change attitudes and stereotypes on and off sporting fields,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Sadly, many people from the GLBTI community drop out of team sports at an early age or never start playing because of homophobic attitudes and discrimination.
“The Bingham Cup will inspire our young people to pursue their sporting dreams, regardless of their sexuality or gender.
“This is a big event for Sydney and I hope other government agencies and businesses will be encouraged to match our support.”
The Sydney Convicts Rugby Club was instrumental in bringing the Bingham Cup to Australia. They are the country’s first gay-oriented rugby club and one of the most successful gay rugby teams in the world, with both its A and B-sides each winning Bingham Cup’s tournament trophy.
Sydney Convicts founder, and president of the 2014 Bingham Cup Organising Committee, Andrew Purchas, said it was good to see homophobia in sport now being recognised and acted on.
“The Bingham Cup gives all the major football codes, and all sporting organisations in Australia, an opportunity to make a very meaningful change,” Mr Purchas said.
“Strong leadership is needed so players feel accepted and free to participate, regardless of the level of play.”
Sydney Mardi Gras – which attracts around 25,000 unique visitors annually to Sydney contributes over $30 million to the local economy – is an event partner for the Bingham Cup and will promote events in Sydney that encourage increased community involvement in the cup.
The 15-a-side rugby union tournament is named after Mark Bingham, a former University of California, Berkeley rugby star, who died in the September 11 attacks in the United States. Bingham was one of a group of passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93, who bravely tried to stop the hijackers, resulting in the plane crash-landing in a field instead of reaching the intended target in Washington DC.
At the time of his death, only six gay-inclusive rugby clubs existed worldwide – two of which were co-founded by Bingham – and today, there are more than 50 clubs around the globe.
The official One Year Out event for Bingham Cup 2014 will be held tonnight, Wednesday 28 August, at NSW Parliament House, with former Wallabies captains Nick Farr-Jones and John Eales speaking as Bingham Cup Ambassadors.
For more information, visit binghamcup.com
For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Jodie Minus, phone 0467 803 815 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Jonathon Larkin on 0477 310 149 or email email@example.com