Send a Kiwi ref to the Bingham Cup By Jack Remiel Cottrell

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About Send a Kiwi ref to the Bingham Cup

Project 2014-04-29 17:49:53 +1200

The NZ Falcons versus College Rifles - With me keeping an eye on that ruck

There's a rugby world cup happening this year, but it's not the kind you'd expect - all of the teams are predominantly made up of gay players.

I'm a gay rugby referee and truly never thought I'd get to see my community (the LGBT one) and my fraternity (the rugby one) ever get together. And to get together with the aim of changing stereotypes about both groups? It's a dream come true.

Well, almost. That's where you fabulous people come in.

Rugby refereeing is a volunteer activity, and I rack up the kilometres refereeing around Auckland. As you can imagine, this puts pressure on my finances already.

Shelling out for a trip to Sydney, where I will again volunteer to help make the tournament happen is a tough stretch. I'm the only NZ referee intending to go along - and if I can't make it, zero referees from the most rugby mad nation in the world will be there. That is a pretty poor showing.

Costs:

Flights from Auckland to Sydney return, plus extra bag: $556

Registration for the tournament: $220

Essential gear (spare kit, formal shirt and tie, kit bag, etc): $395

Total: $1171

This obviously isn't all of my costs (I need to sleep and eat, for instance) but it's the part that makes the rugby happen. That's what I care about most, and I think people will agree with me on that.

You'll spot my target is significantly less than this total - that's because PledgeMe is all-or-nothing. I really need to cover my flight, and I thought a lower target was a prudent idea. If this is wildly sucessful, I will donate the money to the NZ Falcons, to help them get more players and supporters to the cup.

About the Bingham Cup:

The Bingham cup is named in honour of Mark Bingham. A former University of California rugby star, he was instrumental in the establishment of the San Francisco Fog Rugby Football Club. A few months later, after the Fog was admitted to the Northern Californian Football Union, Bingham died in the September 11 attacks on board United Airlines Flight 93. He was one of a group of passengers who took amazing measures to attack the hijackers, which eventually led to them crashing the plane into a vacant field in Pennsylvania instead of its target of Washington, D.C.

At the time of Mark Bingham’s tragic death, only six gay and inclusive rugby clubs existed worldwide. Two of those were co-founded by Mark. Today there are almost 60 clubs. The Bingham Cup is the global event that promotes rugby union as an inclusive non-discriminatory sport.

A bit about me:

I'm Jack Remiel, and I work as an online producer for the Radio Network. Since I was 8 I have lived and breathed rugby - The game was my first love.* My own playing career came to an abrupt end when I was 19, thanks to a broken neck; I took up refereeing and haven't looked back - it's been five years, three different associations (I consider myself a journeyman) more games than I can readily count, and I'm still on the way up. There are blokes around who have been 40 seasons with the whistle and I want to be like them.

Gay rugby has been a revelation. Sometimes it's been as hard to come out to my gay friends as a rugby nut as it has been to my rugby friends that I'm gay. But I've found my people! The NZ Falcons, who are going to the Bingham Cup, have embraced me and I'm getting to see guys who have never played rugby in their lives  - but always really wanted to - play for the first time. It is a powerful lesson in just how much rugby has to give people, and how much gay players can give back to the sport.

*A close second was Christian Cullen.

Cheers for checking out my project page, and thank you so much for any pledge you make.

If you want to keep up with me as I keep racking up the kilometres, you can find my blog here

 

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The People Behind Send a Kiwi ref to the Bingham Cup

Picture?type=square&width=50&height=50 Jack Remiel Cottrell Project admin

Updates

    THANK YOU (or, in which I get teary)

    05:12PM Fri 20/06/14 on Send a Kiwi ref to the Bingham Cup

    It's been a few days now, and I'm just blown away by all your generosity. I've looked at the list of so many people who have pledged - who have supported me in making a dream come true. Thank you all so much. I'll be in touch via email to say thanks personally and arrange rewards.

    My registration is paid, my flights are booked... And the Unicorn won the onesie vote.

    With love and gratefulness from the centre of my being

    Jack Remiel.

    Comment on this update:

    OMGWOOTBBQ! (Or: Wow, I've reached my target!)

    10:45AM Wed 21/05/14 on Send a Kiwi ref to the Bingham Cup

    THANK YOU SO MUCH TO ALL THE FABULOUS PEOPLE WHO HAVE PLEDGED!

    Thanks to you all, I've made it past my target and I guess I'm on my way to Sydney! This is seriously super amazing and I'm stunned and humbled and so grateful to everyone. Honestly, I didn't think I'd get so many people to back me in such a short period of time, I'm feeling all wibbly and like I want to cuddle each and every one of you.

    But having reached my goal, I don't want this page languishing friendless and unloved for 27 days. So, in order to stop that from happening, and to pay tribute to Pledgeme's ongoing thing with onsies, I have an added group incentive.

    Should this project reach $1000, I promise to travel to Sydney wearing a onesie. There will be photos. There will be video. There will be funny looks from security personnel.

    And no, I'm not just going to follow the crowd and wear a panda onesie. You, my amazing pledgers, will get to choose the onesie in which I will travel. Head over to my blog, where I have a poll set up and choose which onesie I will be travelling in style in.

    Comment on this update:

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      This project was successful and got its funding on 15/06/2014 at 12:43 AM.

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