Year-long celebrations kick off build-up to global gay and inclusive rugby’s 20th anniversary year in 2020
International Gay Rugby (IGR), the organization of gay and inclusive rugby clubs around the world, has announced its first annual #PrideInRugby weekend in October this year, to celebrate gay and inclusive rugby, as it prepares to mark its 20th anniversary in 2020.
The event will see nearly 100 member and non-member clubs, celebrating inclusive rugby with a series of matches, tournaments and club engagements over the weekend of 5th – 6th October, around the world.
“Next year will be big year for us with a number of milestones in the history of gay and inclusive rugby,” says Ben Owen, IGR Chair.
“Not only will IGR be celebrating its second decade, but London’s Kings Cross Steelers, our first member-club will be celebrating its 25th birthday, the 10th Bingham Cup, the world championship of inclusive rugby clubs, will be hosted in Ottawa, Canada, and 9/11 hero and gay rugby player, Mark Bingham, after whom the tournament is named, would’ve turned 50. So a lot to celebrate!”
Owen goes on to say the theme #PrideInRugby was chosen not only as a nod to the LGBT pride movement, but also the pride its members have towards the values of inclusivity, diversity and equality, modern rugby offers its players; something IGR Secretary and Trustee Neil Pyper-Hobson says lies at the heart of the gay and inclusive rugby movement.
“Anyone who has been involved in the IGR family over the past two decades will understand completely how transformative it can be to those who join one of its many clubs,” says Pyper-Hobson.
“Ever since IGR was first created by a handful of teams in October 2000, the community’s popularity has skyrocketed and the IGR #PrideInRugby Anniversary Weekend gives every club the opportunity to celebrate our diversity and inclusion, both on and off the pitch and be a part of a truly global weekend to promote Rugby as a sport for all,” concludes Owen.