Bingham Cup 2006

On Memorial Day weekend, my rugby team, the Gotham Knights, hosted the third biennial Bingham Cup, the largest international tournament of gay rugby teams in the world. (Previous hosts are the San Francisco Fog and the King’s Cross Steelers of London.)

Here’s our latest press release:

The Sydney Convicts Rugby Football Club took top honors on May 28 at the 2006 Bingham Cup hosted this year in New York City. Having traveled half-way around the world from Australia to compete, the Convicts’ victory against the San Francisco Fog in the finals closed out the international gay rugby tournament held in honor of United Flight 93 hero Mark Bingham.

Alice Hoagland, mother of United Flight 93 hero and gay rugby player Mark Bingham, presented the grand prize on Randall’s Island, the site of the tournament. More than 700 rugby players from teams around the world competed in 80 matches. Ms. Hoagland passed up screenings of United 93 at the Cannes Film Festival to attend the tournament. Instead, she presented the Cup named after her son to the winning team on Sunday. Players from teams all over the USA and from Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Holland, and Australia, flew in for the tournament.

In addition to the presentation of the Cup, Boston Ironsides won the second division competition with a 3-0 overtime victory against the Dallas Diablos to take home the Bingham Bowl. The Sydney Convicts also won the third division by defeating a Worldwide Barbarians team by 26-7 to take home the Bingham Plate. In the first ever Bingham Cup women’s rugby division, top honors went to the aptly named team from New York Rugby Club named “I Love Kuch,” who bested the Scottsdale Lady Blues and a composite team to take the newly designated prize.

The Bingham Cup is the biennial international rugby competition named after Mark Bingham a hero of United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. Bingham played for gay & bisexual rugby team the San Francisco Fog RFC after leading UC Berkeley to national championships. The Bingham Cup was first held in San Francisco in 2002 and in London in 2004. The 2006 Bingham Cup was hosted by the Gotham Knights Rugby Football Club, a team Bingham was helping to found in 2001 before his untimely passing, and proceeds will benefit both college scholarships via the Mark Bingham Leadership Fund and the United 93 Memorial Fund.

For more information about the Bingham Cup, participating teams and match results go to www.binghamcup.com.

Associated Press coverage of the tournament was picked up across the country in mostly smaller daily papers. We’ve been covered in the gay press and internationally, notably in Australia, the UK and South Africa. We’ve also had some strange appearances, such as on Chinese and Indian television.

Notable appearances:
New York 1 television news (Includes video clip. Please excuse the silly spelling error in the headline.)
Reuters.com (Includes video clip.)

Other appearances:
Time Out New York
New York Channel 9
Sports Illustrated Live
YES Network
Boston Herald
at least one TV station in mainland China
at least one TV station in India
Fort Worth Star Telegram
Arizona Republic
Calgary Sun
Hamilton Spectator (Ontario)
The Independent (South Africa)
Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg, S.A.)
The Trentonian (New Jersey)
Charleston Gazette
San Diego Union Tribune
WKNG Channel 6, (Orlando, FL)
Times Leader (Wilkes Barre, PA)
Auburn Citizen (New York)
Guelph Mercury (Canada)
Standard Speaker (Pennsylvania)
Edge (Boston)
The State (South Carolina)
Pioneer Press (St. Paul, MN)
Monterey County Herald (CA)
NEPA News (PA)
Sydney Star Observer (Australia)
UK Gay News (London)
PM Entertainment (Long Island)
New York Blade
Southern Voice (Atlanta)
Houston Voice
Southern Voice (Florida)
Washington Blade
Gay Outdoors
OutUK (London)


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