VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead has given his backing to Caledonian Thebans’ bid to bring Rugby’s biggest inclusive tournament, the Bingham Cup, to Scotland in 2018.
Caledonian Thebans, Scotland’s leading LGBTI friendly rugby club, have submitted a bid to host the 60 team event in Edinburgh alongside Amsterdam, Toronto and London.
First held in 2002, The Bingham Cup features clubs from around the world and promotes inclusivity in the sport. The tournament is named in honour of American rugby player Mark Bingham.
Bingham, known internationally as one of the heroes of September 11 attacks, established one of two premier gay rugby clubs – the San Francisco Fog and the Gotham Knights. At the time of Bingham’s death, only six gay and inclusive rugby clubs existed worldwide.
The decision of the 2018 host will be made by the 80 clubs from around the world who take part in the tournament with an announcement on the successful city made after votes close on Monday 10 October.
Securing the tournament could provide a boost to the capital’s visitor economy with clubs from around the world heading to Edinburgh for the two week event. Research, conducted by GETA, suggests that LGBT people in the EU spend around £39 billion annually on tourism.
The Thebans’ bid is supported by the EventScotland team, within VisitScotland’s events directorate, and the Scottish Government.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:
“We are extremely proud to give our full backing to Caledonian Thebans’s bid to bring the Bingham Cup to Scotland in 2018. The club has put together a fantastic bid and we are sure Edinburgh, steeped in rugby history, would make a perfect host city for the event.
“Scotland’s capital is home to world class sporting and cultural events – year round – attracting the Bingham Cup in 2018 would be another fantastic addition. Events are vitally important to Scotland’s economy, representing a multi-million pound benefit – both urban and rural.”
Thebans Captain and bid Chairperson, Neil Fox, said:
"We're delighted to have VisitScotland's support, as it takes a real team effort to host such a major tournament - the biggest and best our community will have ever seen. To secure the Bingham Cup would be fantastic not only for Scottish rugby, but also for Scotland, as a truly welcoming country and an amazing place to come and play sport."
Click here for more information about the Bingham Cup.