National guidelines for transgender and gender diverse inclusion in sport released

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), SportAus and The Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports today released new guidelines for the inclusion of trans and gender diverse people in sport in Australia.

This momentous occasion took place this morning at Junction Oval in St Kilda and was attended by a myriad of representatives from sporting organisations, LGBTI+ sport organisations, guideline contributors and media.

The highly anticipated guidelines provide national sporting organisations, state sporting organisations, sporting clubs and volunteer clubs with detailed information about trans and gender diverse inclusion in sport, particularly with regards to complying to the federal Sex Discrimination Act.

These guidelines follow similar guidelines released by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights commission in 2015 and the Australian Capital Territory Human Rights Commission. These existing state and territory-based guidelines have been successfully used by organisations such as Cricket Victoria in the creation of their guidelines for inclusion trans and gender diverse people in community cricket.

Proud 2 Play’s Bowie Stover, who attended the launch, said, “We have been lucky to have guidelines in place in Victoria for a few years now, but it is really fantastic to see nationwide support for inclusion of trans and gender diverse people in sport.”

“I really hope this encourages Australia’s major sporting organisations in creating their own sports-specific inclusion policies.”

What do the guidelines cover?

The guidelines provide inclusion information across a number of areas to do with sports participation. These include: playing sport, implementing inclusive policy, uniforms, inclusive bathroom and shower facilities and collecting and using personal information.

What do the guidelines say about testosterone?

The guidelines are hesitant in giving sporting organisations justification to implement testosterone limits for participation in sport.

It is noted that many international sporting bodies such as the International Olympic Committee have policies in place that outline serum testosterone limits for participation in female competition.

The guidelines recommend that sporting organisations considering these regulations must comply with federal law and that there is little research that examines the performance enhancement effect of testosterone in trans women.

Many characteristics can affect someone's sporting ability. Physical determinants such as height, mental determinants such as discipline in training and social determinants such as proximity to training venues can all contribute to someone's sporting ability.

What does Proud 2 Play think?

Proud 2 Play are pleased to see sporting organisations Australia-wide taking steps to enhance the inclusion of trans and gender diverse people in sport. Many Proud 2 Play members played a role in advising for these guidelines including Proud 2 Play Directors Dr Ryan Storr and James Lolicato, Community Outreach and Events Manager Bowie Stover and the Chair of the Proud 2 Play Board Liam Elphick.

Proud 2 Play have also created a number of resources to accompany the guidelines, in association with Western Sydney University, to assist sporting organisations in enhancing trans and gender diverse inclusion in Australian sport.

We recognise that this is a first momentous step in a journey of sports becoming more inclusive of our trans and gender diverse communities. We are excited to assist organisations in creating inclusion policies specific to their sport and provide education around their implementation.

Our existing partnering organisations – Cricket Victoria, Football Victoria, Tennis Victoria and Athletics Australia – are already striding ahead in efforts to include all LGBTI+ people in their sport. We welcome opportunities from new organisations to engage with us to do the same.

To view the guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in sport, visit the AHRC website.

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Proud2Play Incorporated. ABN 64 612 999 229

Proud2Play Incorporated is a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profit Commission.

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