General News

Sydney to host world’s first LGBTQ+ inclusive boxing tournament

Rachel Badham October 29, 2020

Sydney, Australia, is due to host the world’s first LGBTQ+ inclusive boxing tournament in 2023, organised by the World Gay Boxing Championships (WGBC) and supported by Boxing Australia. According to The Guardian, the WGBC was founded by boxer Martin Stark; he planned to compete at the 2022 Gay Games, but boxing was removed from the line-up, inspiring him to create his own LGBTQ+ sporting event.

Stark said: “This is something we’re starting out. Australia has a great reputation for LGBTQ+ sport. We have hosted the Gay Games, the Sydney Convicts have won the Bingham Cup (a global LGBTQ+ rugby union tournament) several times, and we’ve hosted the Bingham Cup. But this is something new in sport, being started in Australia with Australian leadership. Usually things come to Australia, but we are starting something in Australia to make a change in sport. We are creating the Bingham Cup of boxing.”

A 2015 study by the Bingham Cup found 80% had witnessed or experienced homophobia in sport, and the WGBC hopes to alleviate this problem. Stark continued: “It’s about the wider boxing community and LGBTQ+ community coming together. I think there will be straight people participating in the championships – we say we’re straight-friendly. Inclusivity is not just for the LGBTQ+ community, it has to be for everybody.”