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Australian Sports Federations Lay Out “World First” Guidelines For Inclusion Of Trans Athletes

Eight Australian Federations, including AFL, Hockey Australia, Netball Australia, Rugby Australia, Tennis Australia, Touch Football Australia, UniSport Australia and Water Polo Australia will take part in a new trans inclusivity scheme in Australia. 

All eight federations have come together to issue guidelines on encouraging the involvement of trans athletes across the field of sports.

The newly implemented guidelines have been set up to challenge the stigma trans athletes face when it comes to inclusivity and involvement in sports.

“This is a world-first to see so many national sporting organisations in Australia coming together to collectively show their support for a particular part of our community,” Beau Newell, National Program Manager of Pride in Sport Australia, said at the guidelines launch.

“Many trans people across Australia are members of very inclusive sports clubs, many also report that joining a club is an intimidating and frightening experience,” Teddy Cook, ACON’s manager of trans and gender diverse equity, said.

The inclusivity initiative was driven by ACON, a health NGO advocating LGBT+ rights.

As ‘Gay Times’ report, university sports also issued guidelines promoting a grass-roots and community method of inclusion. Despite the movement towards greater involvement, not all sports or sporting bodies are following similar rules or methods.

Some women’s sports advocates argue that trans athletes acquire physical benefits by going through male puberty and believe its effects last long into adulthood, which provide an unfair advantage in competition.

But, trans advocates have argued inclusivity should be the overriding factor. By preventing trans athletes from participating in a sport, the risk of reinforcing an existing stigma and discrimination posed towards the trans community grows.

In an effort to combat this, a handful of Australian federations (football, golf, swimming and athletics) have decided to mirror other sports and produce their own trans inclusion frameworks.

Read related myGwork articles here:

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Trans Players Would Be Welcome In Women’s Football, Says Former England Striker

The International Olympic Committee Will Publish Trans Guidelines After Tokyo Olympics

Teen Runners Sue To Block Trans Athletes From Girls’ Sport

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