THE 2014 Bingham Cup will receive official support from the NSW Government with over 1500 footballers and 10,000 spectators expected in Sydney later this year for the gay rugby world cup.

To be held in Sydney in August, the biennial event is named after Mark Bingham, a member of the San Francisco gay rugby union team who died on board United Airlines Flight 93 during the September 11 tragedy.

At a press conference last Thursday at Bondi Beach alongside Coogee state Liberal MP Bruce Notley-Smith, Sydney Swans AFL footballer Mike Pyke and NSW Waratahs footballer Michael Hodge, Sports Minister Gabrielle Upton said the government’s support for the event aligned with its objectives in getting more people of all ages and backgrounds involved in sport and exercise. All up the support will total about $100,000.

“The NSW Government is immensely proud to support the Bingham Cup through financial and in-kind contributions to assist with the Local Organising Committee with marketing and other operational costs,” she said.

“This will be the first time the event has taken place in the Southern Hemisphere and will be a spectator showcase of rugby with my local team, the Sydney Convicts, defending their 2012 Gay Rugby World Championship against interstate and international rivals.”

Local team and defending Bingham Cup champions the Sydney Convicts will play host to the tournament that has a truly international flavour with up to 40 teams from 15 countries expected to take part.

Andrew Purchas, president of the Bingham Cup organising committee and founder of the Sydney Convicts, said he was very appreciative of the government’s support which he believed would provide invaluable assistance in staging a first class international rugby tournament.

“We look forward to showcasing our magnificent and beautiful city and State, and demonstrating how warm, welcoming and friendly Australia is to the communities,” he said.

Tourism Minister George Souris said August’s tournament also had the official backing of tourism body Destination NSW.

“Sydney will be only the seventh city to host the Bingham Cup and this reinforces Sydney’s status as the major sporting events capital of Australia,” he said.


Image: David Whitttker (Convicts), Lachlan McGregor (Convicts), Jay Claydon (Convicts), Bruce Notley-Smith (Member for Coogee), Gabrielle Upton (Sports Minister), Michael Hodge (Waratahs), Andrew Purchas (Bingham), Mike Pyke (Sydney Swans) (Supplied)


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