The Brisbane Hustlers gay and inclusive rugby team are making their final preparations to compete in the 2018 Bingham Cup in Amsterdam this June.
The Bingham Cup is also known as the world championships of gay and inclusive rugby. The tournament was inspired by 9/11 hero, Mark Bingham, who was on Flight 93 which crashed in Pennsylvania.
Since relaunching in 2012, the Hustlers have fallen in the final and semi final of their last two appearances in the tournament and are hoping to improve again at this year’s cup, held from June 7 to 10.
“The boys are very excited to be taking on the rest of the world,” said Hustlers Vice President Jason Garrick.
“What is really exciting is that our new players who have trained for the past 6 to 12 months with the squad have really come into their own and are playing as experienced players. The growth on the field has been tremendous.”
But the club isn’t just about being excellent he says, it’s about personal success too.
“The club is about competing to the best of your ability at every opportunity. Every minute counts,” he said.
“The Hustlers continue to be relevant in rugby at the moment due to the ongoing homophobia that faces players and supporters at every level.
“Rugby is about equality. This is why we continue to be here.”
They face some tough competition from international teams, but also from teams back home as the boys from Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand head abroad to compete against them as well.
The Hustlers are the reigning Purchas Cup champions which is the Australian and New Zealand regional rugby championships.
The team has been running fundraising events including their annual Trivia Night and the upcoming Rugger Bugger Hustler 360 on May 19 at the Wickham Hotel.
They’ve also launched a GoFund Me crowdfunding page in an attempt to raise money for the club’s efforts.
For more information on how you can join or assist the team head to their Facebook page.