Throughout the world, among participant sports with sizable gay followings, rugby ranks among the top favorites, and it continues to grow in popularity. Hundreds of the world's most avid and talented gay and bisexual rugby athletes compete in the biennial Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament, aka the Bingham Cup, which began in 2002 and is named for the openly gay former UC Berkeley rugby luminary and late hero of United Airlines Flight 93, which hijackers crashed in a Pennsylvania field during the tragic events of September 11, 2001. This hugely popular Gay Rugby World Championship is great fun to attend, whether as a participant or a spectator.
Having most recently taken place in Sydney, Australia two years ago, the Bingham Cup will next happen in the hip, gay-friendly Tennessee city of Nashville in late May - the dates are May 22 through May 29, 2016. This year's Bingham Cup is expected to some 1,500 players and supporters from more than 45 different countries.
In addition to spirited rugby competitions throughout the week, there will be a number of parties and social gatherings as well as day trips to Graceland in Memphis, Dollywood, and Nashville's famously local whiskey distilleries, Jack Daniels and George Dickel. Check out the Bingham Cup official website for event calendars, travel details, registration information, and everything else you need to know about this terrific gay rugby showcase.
Bingham Cup partnership with the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network
The city's own home team, the Nashville Grizzlies, have announced that the 2016 Bingham Cup's official "charity of choice" is a particularly wonderful and important cause, the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network. As part of this partnership, TSPN staff will be offering suicide prevention training during the week of the tourney. If you're interested in learning more about this organization, also check out the national website and also take note that they offer a staffed 24-7 helpline (800-273-8255). Trained counselors are on hand to help any who might be experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Getting to know the Nashville Gay Scene
There's plenty for LGBT visitors to see and do in this culturally rich, dynamic city. Have a look at my guide and gallery on Nashville gay nightlife and sightseeing for ideas about what to see and do in town. Also have a look at the area's gay papers, including Out & About Newspaper and Unite Nashville magazine - they're both very helpful. Also pay a visit to the helpful travel site produced by the city's official tourism organization, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau.