Women will compete for the first time ever in the gay rugby World Cup tournament, the Bingham Cup. The event takes place this weekend in Dutch capital, Amsterdam.
Just four of the 70 rugby teams taking part in this year’s competition are female, but that hasn’t softened their gritty determination to give their all at the tournament, which kicked off today.
Three of the teams are from Canada, Sweden and host country, the Netherlands. Female players from all over the world make up a fourth global team.
Support for women players
Thousands of fans and supporters have travelled to Amsterdam to watch around 200 matches that will take place at the 9th biennial games.
Supporters took to Twitter to cheer the women on. Canadian club, Ottawa Wolves RFC, posted a picture of some of the players, saying ‘these powerful women’ were making history.
The Bingham Cup was originally set up as a men’s tournament. Organisers said there was never any real demand for a female competition, however, that has now changed.
Women’s ‘exhibition games’ have taken place on the sidelines of previous tournaments. They are able to participate fully because there is now more development support for the women’s game, the organisers said.
The women’s tournament is an ‘invitational event’ with the four teams competing in one tier. The competition starts on Friday and runs through Saturday.