Convicts to host Bingham Cup in 2014
Australia’s first gay rugby club, the Sydney Convicts, will play host to the Bingham Cup – dubbed the gay rugby world cup – in 2014 and have called upon the city and the LGBTI community to help them defend their title in two years time.
After having their official bid for hosting rights endorsed by the likes of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and rugby greats John Eales and Nick Farr-Jones, the Convicts were considered to be frontrunners to host the biennial tournament which they won earlier this year when it was held in Manchester, England.
“It gives me great pleasure to support the Sydney Convicts’ bid to host the seventh Bingham Cup rugby tournament in Sydney in 2014,” Gillard says in the video.
“Australia is a sports-loving nation which also has an abiding commitment to diversity and mutual respect. The vibrant city of Sydney is the perfect location for the Bingham Cup. And the Sydney Convicts, Australia’s first gay rugby union club, are the perfect hosts.
“In recent years, Sydney has hosted the Olympics, and gay games and the Rugby World Cup with a remarkable spirit of openness and celebration. I know that Bingham Cup participants would receive the same warm and generous welcome.”
The prestigious trophy is named after gay US rugby union stalwart Mark Bingham, who lost his life in the 2001 September 11 attacks in the US attempting to overpower hijackers of United Airlines 93.
The Convicts bid had also received support from the likes of NSW Governor Marie Bashir, Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Olympic gold medallist Matthew Mitcham as well as rugby legends John Eales, Phil Kearns, Brendan Cannon, Mark Ella, Nick Farr-Jones and Peter Fitzsimons.
The Wallabies and captain David Pocock, a big supporter of marriage equality, were also behind the bid.
In September, the Convicts also took out their local suburban Sydney competition the Nicholson Cup and then the country’s title as the best gay rugby club with success in the Purchas Cup held in Brisbane.
The titles went along with the club’s sweep at this year’s Bingham Cup to make this season the most successful in the club’s nine-year history.
AN OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT WILL BE MADE IN LONDON TOMORROW. MORE DETAILS TO FOLLOW.
Photo: Members of the Sydney Convicts celebrate their Bingham Cup success with rugby greats Phil Waugh, Nick Farr-Jones and Mark Ella (Jason Nichol)