Bingham Cup Countdown

In just over a week Sydney will play host to the Bingham Cup - rugby union's gay world cup.

Our community has made great progress is being a more welcoming and inclusive place for everyone, irrespective of their sexuality.

Sadly, sport is one area that still lags behind, and many people in the GLBTI community feel unwelcome in traditional team sports. The Bingham Cup is the global event that promotes rugby union as an inclusive non-discriminatory sport.

From 24 to 31 August 2014, teams from over 15 countries will come together in Sydney to celebrate diversity in sport.

The Bingham Cup is named in honour of Mark Bingham, a young man instrumental in establishing two gay rugby clubs - the San Francisco Fog and the Gotham Knights.

Mark died on September 11, 2001, when the plane he was travelling on was hijacked and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. It is believed he was among the passengers who, having heard about the attacks on New York, tried to take control of their flight back from hijackers.

At the time of Mark Bingham's death, only six gay and inclusive rugby clubs in the world. Today there are almost 60 clubs.

After their acceptance into their local union, Mark emailed his teammates in the San Francisco Fog and said:

"We have the chance to be role models for other gay folks who wanted to play sports, but never felt good enough or strong enough. More importantly, we have the chance to show the other teams in the league that we are as good as they are. Good rugby players. Good partiers. Good sports. Good men."

This Wednesday evening, ABC2 will screen the TV premiere of The Rugby Player.

The City is a strong supporter of the Bingham Cup, providing cash and value in kind sponsorship. This includes a pop-up merchandise store and information centre on Oxford Street.

The week will include events to ensure players, spectators and locals have a great time in our city.

I welcome the players, officials, friends and family visiting our city.

To find out more, visit binghamcup.com

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