BOULDER, Colo. – The 2014 USA Rugby National Development Summit in Philadelphia, Penn., will kick off with an exclusive screening of “The Rugby Player,” a feature-length documentary exploring the life and legacy of rugby player Mark Bingham.
One of the passengers aboard United Flight 93 Sep. 11, 2001, Bingham was amongst those who helped fight off terrorists attempting to hijack the airplane. The documentary follows his life and love of rugby, celebrating both through the words of those closest to him.
“We are very excited to show ‘The Rugby Player’ at the National Development Summit,” USA Rugby Youth Development Administrator Brandy Medran said. “It is an amazing and uplifting story, recognized at dozens of film festivals.
“To see what Mark was able to do with his ultimately short life is inspirational. We are all still feeling the effects of that fateful day, but at least we can be reminded of the heroism of a rugby player and great American.”
Bingham started in rugby at University of California, Berkeley, playing under Coach Jack Clark before graduating to the San Francisco Fog Rugby Club. His impact on the club was substantial, prompting the Fog to create the Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament to celebrate his life. The ‘Bingham Cup’ is a biennial rugby tournament featuring gay rugby union clubs from around the world and will be contested in Sydney, Australia, this year.
The film also focuses on Bingham’s relationship with his mother Alice Hoagland, who will be in attendance at the National Development Summit Feb. 21-13. Bingham called his mother aboard Flight 93 before teaming up with fellow passengers to avert disaster. Hoagland and “The Rugby Player” Producer Holly Million will introduce the film and take questions at 7:15 P.M. ET at the Friday Welcome Reception before the film is played at 7:30 P.M. ET.
“The Rugby Player” will embark on a world tour this year following its stop at NDS. It recently screened its world premiere at the Miami LGBT Film Festival last April and was awarded the HBO Audience Award for Best Documentary.