Amsterdam will host the 2018 World Championship for Gay Rugby teams. This bi-annual event is better known as the Bingham Cup. It will be the first edition of the Bingham Cup organized on the European continent. Over 2000 gay rugby players are expected to participate.
An impactful bid
The local gay rugby club (the Amsterdam Lowlanders) put forward the bid for the 2018 event. They had to compete with cities like London, Edinburgh and Toronto. But the Amsterdam lobby proved too strong for these rugby giants. The Lowlanders were supported in their bid by the Dutch Rugby Union, local and national governments and many others. Under the slogan “Prepare for Impact” they emphasized the professional organization of the rugby tournament and the fun of various parties and side events. You can get an taste of their proposal in this bid video:
The Lowlanders also stressed that organizing the Bingham Cup in Amsterdam would give the Rugby sport an extra boost in The Netherlands.
Gay rugby and Mark Bingham
Despite it’s rough image, rugby is actually quit a gay friendly sport. Several professional rugby players have come out as gay. And straight rugby players have openly supported LGBTQ rights. This openness towards gay sportsmen is also shown by the hosts of the 2018 Bingham Cup: the Amstelveen Rugby Cup. This rugby club in a southern suburb of Amsterdam is the homeclub for the Amsterdam Lowlanders and will host the Bingham Cup.
The Bingham Cup is named in honor of Mark Bingham. Apart from being a talented rugby player, he was instrumental in the founding of two gay rugby clubs: the San Francisco Fog and the Gotham Knights. He was one of a group of passengers on 9/11 who attacked the hijackers of their plane, which eventually led to them crashing into a vacant field in Pennsylvania.