International News

Gay Rugby’s Bingham Cup Won by Melbourne Chargers

Written by Agenda Florida

NASHVILLE–The Melbourne Chargers have won the 2016 Bingham Cup, held in Nashville from May 26-29, 2016. The Bingham Cup is the world championship of gay rugby and is one of the largest Rugby Union tournaments in the world.

The Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament is named after Mark Bingham, a gay rugby player who died on United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. Mark played for UC Berkeley and the San Francisco Fog RFC and was one of the founding members of International Gay Rugby (IGR), a registered non-profit dedicated to promoting equality and diversity in the sport. He was also involved in the founding of the Gotham Knights RFC, the gay and inclusive team in New York City. at the time of his death.

The Melbourne Chargers defeated the San Francisco Fog and the Washington DC Renegades A before facing the Sydney Convicts in the final game for the the Bingham Cup. The final score was 20-7 with Sydney scoring and converting a try in the final minutes of an exciting match. This was the first time the club won the Bingham Cup.

The Nashville Grizzlies gay rugby team hosted the 2016 tournament and welcomed over 1300 players and hundreds more spectators, coaches and supporters to Nashville for a week of events leading up the tournament itself. In addition to nightly social events, Raptors Coach Andre Snyman hosted player and coaches clinics and instructors from Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network were on hand for suicide prevention training for all interested players.

The tournament officially kicked off at the opening ceremony at Vanderbilt University. Mayor Megan Barry, State Representative John Ray Clemmons, Vice Mayor David Briley and Athlete Ally founder Hudson Taylor and many other local and regional officials welcomed players from around the world to Nashville. Mayor Barry put on a Grizzlies jersey presented to her as honorary co-chair of the host committee.

The Nashville Grizzlies, hosts of the tournament, won their third trophy in club history, taking the Hoagland Shield.

“This tournament was a journey and we are so proud to have played to our full potential and won the Bingham Cup. Everything we did on and off the field was for the team as a whole. Our game against Sydney was the final challenge and we made history today,” said Chargers captain, Iain Abbot.

“The IGR trustees, board and community would like to thank all of the participants, officials and supporters of the 2016 Bingham Cup. The 8th Annual Bingham Cup was our largest, safest and most successful ever. We would especially like to congratulate the Melbourne Chargers on their win of the Bingham Cup championship over the Sydney Convicts, through outstanding athletic performance and award winning sportsmanship,” said outgoing IGR Chairman Jeff Wilson.

“Everyone involved with the Bingham Cup 2016 tournament would like to thank the city of Nashville, all of volunteers, and all the teams that came so far to participate. A big congratulations goes out to the Melbourne chargers on their win!” said Bingham Cup organizing committee chairman Jon Glassmeyer.

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