LGBT+ Rugby Tournament comes to Dublin this weekend
Starting Friday, 45 teams from 15 countries will be in Dublin to participate in Europe’s largest and best-known LGBT+ inclusive rugby tournament. The Union Cup has come a long way since it started with just seven teams back in 2005.
That inaugural tournament was held in Montpellier in France. Since then it has been hosted every two years in cities across Europe.
This year’s Union Cup comes to Dublin off the back of hard work put in by local club and this year’s hosts Emerald Warriors. 2019 sees the introduction of a tournament held for women while men will compete in three separate tiers. All of the games take place in Dublin City University Campus. There will be an opening ceremony held on Friday and games begin the following morning.
Organisers are also offering coaching clinics in the build-up to the event and should you wish to get involved there is still time to volunteer.
Rory doing his Best to promote the game
“Irish captain Rory Best took a training session with the Emerald Warriors on Tuesday,” says Head of Communications, Emily Cramp. “We’ve been inundated with requests for coverage and there has been immense support from everywhere. Particularly within the rugby community.”
As well as rugby there is plenty of fun to be had over the three days. On Saturday, tournament goers will be treated to An Evening with The Outing Festival which includes Blind Date, DJs and ‘traditional’ Irish Dancing. With a closing ceremony to be held in the city centre on Sunday this is sure to be a weekend to remember.
“It is very important because people are allowed to be themselves and play the game they love,” says International Referee, Nigel Owens. “Maybe they are at a stage where they feel they can’t play the game in another environment, so this allows them to enjoy the great sport of rugby. It also shows how much rugby has moved forward as far as inclusiveness goes.”