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rugbyworldcupThe International Gay Rugby Association & Board has today announced Sydney’s bid to host the 2014 Bingham Cup, the world cup of gay rugby, has been successful.

Last hosted in Manchester earlier this year, the Bingham is one of the world’s largest non-professional rugby tournaments and is set to be the largest sporting event to be held in Sydney since the 2002 Gay Games.

Following on from local team the Sydney Convicts triumph in Manchester this year, our boys’ bid to bring the games Down Under had a diverse range of supporters including political support from Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who appeared in a promotional video highlighting why Sydney would be the perfect host city.

The week-long event to be held in August 2014 will see up to 40 teams and 1,500 players along with coaches and supporters hosted in Sydney.

“Winning the rights to host the 2014 Bingham Cup is a great result for the Sydney Convicts and for Sydney,” says Westworth MP Malcolm Turnbull. “This will be one of the biggest events for the City and Eastern Suburbs since we hosted the beach volleyball in the 2000 Olympics.”

Sydney will be the seventh city to play host to the Bingham Cup, a bi-annual tournament promoting diversity, inclusion and sportsmanship whilst challenging perceptions of gay male identity and sport.

“When the Bingham Cup is played in Sydney it will further dispel the myth that gay men cannot play tough contact sport,” says Bingham 2014 – Sydney Bid Committee President Andrew Purchas. “The tournament will shine a national spotlight on homophobia in sport, which is still endemic to many of our country’s sporting fields and experienced by young gay athletes. Terms such as ‘gay’ ‘fag’ and ‘homo’ if used to insult, have no place on the sports field, in the play ground, or the work place.”

Australia’s most successful Wallaby Captain and supporter of the recent bid John Eales believes that many respects the Bingham Cup is more than just a rugby tournament. ” It’s an important demonstration of mutual respect and diversity which has always been part of the rugby community.

“Regardless of the football code you would like to play, sexuality should be irrelevant consideration. Unfortunately this is not a reality and there is still work to be done to eliminate negative stereotypes and homophobia in sport.”

Interstate teams The Melbourne Chargers Rugby Football Club and Brisbane Hustlers Rugby Football Club have also welcomed the announcement of the win. They will assist in hosting and also compete in the tournament.

The direct economic benefit of the win has been calculated to be worth in excess of over 4m Aussie dollars to the local Sydney economy.

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