Bingham Cup Ottawa 22 Release New Tournament Dates

Back in October 2018, the Ottawa Wolves Rugby Football Club (RFC) won the hosting rights for the 2020 Bingham Cup, one of the world’s largest amateur union rugby tournament.

OTTAWA  | August 18, 2021

Due to the pandemic – the highly anticipated international tournament was postponed to 2022. Today, the Ottawa Wolves RFC and the Bingham Cup Ottawa 2022 Organizing Committee are thrilled to announce the dates at which the tournament will return to Canada’s capital region. 

The tournament activities will start on Saturday, August 13, 2022. Opening ceremonies will take place on Wednesday, August 17, 2022. The finals of tournament play and closing ceremonies will take place on Sunday, August 21, 2022. Information regarding all tournament activities including the official tournament schedule can be found at binghamcup.com. 

The Ottawa Wolves RFC is the first Canadian inclusive rugby club to host the Bingham Cup and follow other inclusive rugby clubs that have successfully held the biennial tournament, located in cities such as London, United Kingdom; New York, U.S.A; Dublin, Ireland; Sydney, Australia; and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The Bingham Cup is an international gay rugby union tournament that promotes inclusivity, equality and competition. Thousands of participants from rugby teams from five continents are expected to participate in the 2022 Bingham Cup. 

“Having the Bingham Cup come to Ottawa is great news for our city and our local economy,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “After the global pandemic, this event will bring excitement, camaraderie and much needed economic benefits to Ottawa, while allowing our residents to enjoy world-class rugby here in the nation’s capital.” 

Administered by International Gay Rugby (IGR), the Bingham Cup is named in memory of Mark Kendall Bingham, a former University of California, Berkeley rugby star and 

cofounder of the Gotham Knights RFC, a gay-inclusive rugby club in New York City. Mark Kendall Bingham lost his life in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks onboard United Airlines Flight 93. 

“The international gay and inclusive rugby community is very excited to see the return of the Bingham Cup. Due to the global pandemic, IGR clubs have lived through the postponement of their marquee tournament as well as numerous regional tournaments. It’s been a challenging few years. We’ve lost important members of the IGR family. The Bingham Cup has historically been a moment when we honour and celebrate those individuals. But on the positive side, we’ve also seen the emergence of new clubs and players. To know that rugby players from around the world will be travelling to Canada for first time in 2022 – a country with a growing rugby community and a proud reputation of openness towards the LGBT+ community – is truly momentous and most welcome news!” said Karl Ainscough-Gates, current Chair of IGR. 

First held in 2002, the Bingham Cup is understood to have grown to become one of the largest, if not the largest international amateur rugby union tournament in the world. The 2018 tournament hosted by the Amsterdam Lowlanders RFC had more than 2,300 registered participants from 63 countries. The 2022 tournament in Ottawa will include week-long cultural, educational and sporting events and is forecast to generate economic activity in excess of $8.5 million. The 2022 tournament will also be carbon-neutral, feature a wheelchair rugby exhibition game and celebrate Indigenous culture. 

The 2022 Bingham Cup will be hosted by the Ottawa Wolves RFC. One of only four gay-inclusive rugby clubs in Canada, the Ottawa Wolves RFC was engaged in an extensive bidding process to win the rights to host the Bingham Cup in the nation’s capital back in 2018. Only six months before the start of the 2020 edition of the tournament, all activities were postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

“What a ride it has been. From the historic announcement of having won the bid, and then working tirelessly to deliver one of the world’s largest rugby tournament – only to have to postpone it due to the pandemic – our organizing team has faced challenges, the likes never seen before. But we’re rugby players – we don’t ever give up. It’s simply not an option! Working with our amazing partners, we are thrilled to announce the dates of a tournament that will benefit both rugby and the inclusive sports movement in Canada, for generations to come” said Jean-François Laberge, past Captain of the Ottawa Wolves RFC, President of the Bingham Cup Ottawa 2020 Bid and Organizing Committee and current President of the Bingham Cup Ottawa 2022 Organizing Committee. “Hosting the Bingham Cup reinforces that Canada is an open, inclusive and welcoming country. With everything that has happened since 2018 – I know that the IGR family needs this tournament more than ever. That’s why we’re committed to deliver a unique tournament experience – and to make as affordable as possible – so everyone can come. We want all tournament participants and the Canadian public to get the chance to gather safely in Ottawa and celebrate the inclusive rugby movement. We can’t wait to see everyone – showcase our values and what we stand for – as well as everything that we are and will continue to be!” 

“Equity, diversity and inclusion are core values of rugby” said Sally Dennis, Chair of Rugby Canada. “We applaud the Ottawa Wolves RFC and the Bingham Cup Organising Committee for their significant contribution to the Canadian sporting community in bringing us this exciting event, which we are incredibly proud and honoured to support. Put the dates in your calendar!” 

“From the first day the Ottawa Wolves RFC joined the Ontario rugby family, the club has been a welcome, valued and trusted partner. We have and continue to support them as they have supported Rugby Ontario and the Eastern Ontario Rugby League. We are thrilled to learn of the new official dates and look forward to enjoying a world-class rugby tournament in Ottawa, in August 2022” said Kathleen McGinn, Chair of Rugby Ontario. 

The Ottawa Wolves RFC has built important relationships to secure world-class tournament facilities, such as the allyship with the Gloucester Hornets Soccer Club and the Gloucester Dragons Recreational Soccer Association. 

“Whether it be rugby or soccer, there is simply no room for discrimination in sport. It’s not lost on us that Canadian soccer player Quin became the first out Trans, Nonbinary to win gold in Tokyo just a few weeks ago.” Said Marc Raymond, President of the Gloucester Hornets Soccer Club. “It was natural for us to support the Bingham Cup Ottawa 2022 team, as well as the Ottawa business and tourism communities.” 

“Whether engaging at the recreational level, or at the Olympics: everyone deserves to reap the benefits of putting on a pair of cleats and stepping onto the pitch with their sporting family. Sport is for everyone.” Stated Bill Coleman, Chair of the Gloucester Dragons Recreational Soccer Association. “This is a really important message and it’s why we are proud to support the Bingham Cup and its organizers.” 

The Ottawa Wolves RFC was founded in 2008. The club competes in the regular Division 1 Eastern Ontario Rugby League and has competed in tournaments locally, nationally and internationally, including every Bingham Cup since 2010. Other gay-inclusive rugby clubs in Canada include the Montreal Armada RFC, the Toronto Muddy York RFC and the Vancouver Rogues RFC. The Ottawa Wolves RFC is part of IGR, a member of the Federation of Gay Games and recognized by World Rugby as their lead LGBT organization. 

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