Historic Trans Match at the Bingham Cup Rome 2024: medals provided by the SGS project

The Bingham Cup 

The Bingham Cup, named after Mark Bingham, a gay rugby player killed during the 9/11 attacks, is the world’s largest amateur rugby union tournament. The biennial event is dedicated to promoting inclusivity and diversity, gathering thousands of players from across the globe to compete and celebrate the values of sport and unity. The 2024 edition of the Bingham Cup was held in Rome from May 23rd thru 26th, hosted by Libera Rugby Club,  and marked a significant milestone in the tournament’s history with the introduction of the first-ever Trans Match, involving more than 40 athletes from 8 different countries, organised in collaboration with the IGR (International Gay Rugby) 


The first ever “Trans Match”

This groundbreaking match was a testament to the Bingham Cup’s commitment to inclusivity, providing a platform for transgender athletes to participate and be celebrated, especially after the ban from the World Rugby Federation regarding transgender women competing in female rugby categories (2020). As the Outsport network in AiCS, we brought the SGS project (Sport for alla Genders and Sexualities) into this event by creating a special recognition for transgender athletes. Every one of them who took part in the match received a specially designed medal dedicated to the project, and the link with all project outcomes was shared with the match organisers and then with the players.

The SGS project 

The SGS project, funded by the European Union, focuses on combating discrimination against women and LGBT+ individuals in grassroots sports across Europe. The project’s mission is to create inclusive sports environments where all athletes, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, can thrive and be respected. The provision of these medals at the Bingham Cup is a reflection of the commitment to this mission. The medals symbolise the progress we need towards a more inclusive and accepting sporting environment. They not only honour the contributions of the trans athletes but also serve as a reminder of the importance of diversity in sports, as we did in the SGS project with the Rising Together campaign, which used Rugby as a metaphor for body differences in sports.

Outsport Coordinator Rosario Coco awards the trans athletes with SGS project medals after the match

The importance of a trans match during the Bingham Cup

The Bingham Cup Rome 2024, showcasing over 140 teams and 5,000 among players and supporters, emphasised the tournament’s global reach and its mission to break down barriers in sports. The inclusion of the Trans Match was a significant step forward, reinforcing the message that sports are for everyone. This event highlighted the ongoing efforts to create a positive and supportive environment for all athletes, setting a powerful example for future sporting events and for a policy change by sports federations.