Ottawa to host 2020 Bingham Cup, drawing amateur rugby teams from around the globe

Boston Ironside rugby team player, center, is tackled by Amsterdam lowlanders players during the Bingham Cup gay rugby tournament in Sydney, Australia, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

The Ottawa Wolves will host the 2020 Bingham Cup.

The international gay rugby union tournament, which promotes inclusivity, equality and competition, is expected to draw 70 teams from five continents.

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“The international gay rugby community is excited that the Bingham Cup will be held in Canada for the first time, a country with a growing rugby community and a proud reputation of openness towards the LGBT+ community,” International Gay Rugby chair Ben Owen said in a statement.

First held in 2002, the tournament is named after Mark Kendall Bingham, a former University of California, Berkeley rugby star and co-founder of the Gotham Knights RFC.

Bingham died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks onboard United Airlines Flight 93.

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The 2018 tournament, hosted by Amsterdam Lowlanders RFC, had more than 2,300 registered participants from 63 countries.

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The Wolves describe themselves as one of only three “gay-inclusive rugby clubs” in Canada, along with the Montreal Armada RFC and Toronto Muddy York RFC.

“This is a truly historic moment for both rugby and the inclusive sports movement in Canada,” said Jean-Francois Laberge, past captain of the Wolves and president of the Bingham Cup Ottawa 2020 bid committee. “Hosting the Bingham Cup reinforces that Canada is an open, inclusive and welcoming country.”

The tournament was first held in 2002.

“Bringing the Bingham Cup to Canada is a major boost for the sport of rugby in this country,” said Rugby Canada chairman Tim Powers. “Rugby is truly an international game with the values of inclusiveness and respect at its core. It’s a sport that transcends issues of sexuality and gender and celebrates diversity.”

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