Star studded dinner raises funds to tackle homophobia
Australian sports stars and corporate leaders have raised more than $44,000 at a fundraising dinner hosted by Commonwealth Bank in support of the Bingham Cup.
Monies raised will assist Bingham Cup Sydney 2014 to fund initiatives to address homophobia in sport long after the rugby tournament concludes.
“From the very start of organising the Bingham Cup, we decided we wanted to ensure the tournament was a catalyst for change in Australian sports,” said Andrew Purchas, Bingham Cup Sydney 2014 President.
“Key to this is ensuring we are able to support a range of legacy projects and initiatives, similar to the creation of the Anti-Homophobia and Inclusion Framework and the Out on the Fields international study on homophobia in sport,” he added.
The Commonwealth Bank is a principal partner of the Bingham Cup Sydney 2014 and CBA Executive General Manager Corporate Affairs, Andrew Hall, said the bank was proud to be a sponsor of Bingham Cup.
“The Bingham Cup Sydney 2014 is a fantastic event that embraces the spirit of LGBTI inclusion. As a principal partner, we are proud to help raise funds so their work around cultural change and LGBTI inclusiveness can continue beyond the tournament.”
Out athlete Alex Blackwell, vice captain of the Australian female cricket team and a Bingham Cup ambassador, said most people had experienced homophobia on the playing fields.
“Whether you are playing elite or amateur sport, homophobia is something most athletes have experienced at some point. We still have a lot of work to do, but thankfully this fundraiser and other initiatives like it, show there is a momentum in Australia toward changing sporting culture so it is more welcoming and safe for openly gay athletes," she said.
The Bingham Cup week of events, parties and the three day rugby festival in Rose Bay begins August 24.
Tickets are selling fast for the parties, so organisers advise you to get in quick. Matches begin on Friday August 29. You can listen to the Grand Finals on Sunday during a special broadcast on 2SER in Sydney, Joy 94.9 in Melbourne or online.
The Rugby Player – an award-winning documentary on Mark Bingham and the history of the Bingham Cup - will screen on ABC on August 30.
Image: Tom Burgess and Mike Pike (image supplied)