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National Sporting Organisations commit to Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusion Measures

National Sporting Organisations commit to Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusion Measures
October 1, 2020

At a launch held today at the Sydney Cricket Ground, leading national sporting organisations (NSOs) unveiled their policies and guidelines relating to the participation and inclusion of trans and gender diverse people.

By formalising their stand on inclusivity, these Australian sports have shown a commitment to providing environments where everyone involved is treated with respect and dignity.

Pride in Sport National Program Manager, Beau Newell, said that the joint commitment made by the NSOs marks a major moment in Australian sport and advised “this launch demonstrates a fundamental shift within Australian sport towards the greater inclusion of trans and gender diverse athletes. By formalising their stand to be inclusive of trans and gender diverse people, these Australian sports have shown a true and tangible commitment to providing environments where everyone involved is treated with respect and dignity.

“Sport has an amazing opportunity to provide a safe and inclusive environment to all people, including people with diverse genders and sexualities. As a country that holds sport very close to our hearts, it also has a unique position to be able to help change attitudes of many Australians. The demand for more inclusive sporting cultures makes clear that Australian society increasingly expects that sport should be for everyone, including trans and gender diverse people.”

Eight peak Australian sporting bodies - AFL, Hockey Australia, Netball Australia, Rugby Australia, Tennis Australia, Touch Football Australia, UniSport Australia and Water Polo - have committed to implementing governance that supports a greater level of inclusion for trans and gender diverse people in their sports.

In addition, a range of NSOs have also committed to developing trans and gender diverse inclusion frameworks for their sports following the launch, including:

• Athletics Australia
• Australian Dragon Boating Federation
• Bowls Australia
• Diving Australia
• Football Federation Australia
• Golf Australia
• Gymnastics Australia
• Judo Australia
• Softball Australia
• Squash Australia
• Surf Life Saving Australia
• Swimming Australia
• Triathlon Australia

After launching their own trans and gender diverse inclusion governance in 2019, Cricket Australia have also committed to supporting other NSOs throughout this process.

This initiative, spearheaded by ACON’s Pride in Sport program, Australia’s only program specifically designed to assist sporting organisations with the inclusion of people of diverse sexualities and genders at all levels, was undertaken following the identification of a need for national guidance on how NSOs can be inclusive of trans and gender diverse people.

Data from the National LGBTI Health Alliance state that trans and gender diverse adults are nearly 11 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population, with 35% of trans and gender diverse adults having attempted suicide in their lifetime. Further, international research concludes that trans and gender diverse people are much less likely to participate in sport due to fear of transphobic discrimination from other players, coaches and club officials.

Lifeline Chief Executive, Colin Seery notes “At Lifeline, we are well aware of the detrimental impacts of isolation, rejection and discrimination – impacts that can be so devastating to mental wellbeing, they can lead to suicide.

“A sense of belonging is one of our most important human needs and sport provides a great opportunity for connecting with others. Today’s commitment by these national sporting organisations to make their sports more welcoming, inclusive and safe for all Australians is a positive step towards saving lives.”

ACON’s Manager of Trans and Gender Diverse Equity, Teddy Cook advised “we know that trans athletes can be targeted on the unfounded basis that we affirm our gender to seek a competitive advantage in sport, but this is untrue and incredibly damaging to all – trans people and our cis allies.

“While 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. The commitment from these sports provides much needed guidance to the many clubs working hard to be the open and inclusive sport they want to be for all athletes, including those athletes who are trans.

“It is the right of every player, coach, volunteer and fan to feel accepted and affirmed, on and off the sporting field, including trans and gender diverse people, and we know that when this happens, mental and physical health outcomes dramatically improve.”

ACON Vice-President and Co-Founder of Pride in Sport, Andrew Purchas heralded the launch as world-first move adding “I congratulate all the NSOs that have made this landmark commitment in working towards a progressive and welcoming Australia, and encourage others to consider making their sports an inclusive place for all. We are proud of community sports clubs who continue to welcome and affirm their trans players, and to those who look forward to doing so in the near future.

Image courtesy of Pride in Sport

Related Articles

1st October 2020 - Athletes, Sporting Clubs and Organisations recognised for LGBTQ inclusion

26th June 2020 - VicHealth continues to promote LGBTI+ inclusion in community sport

25th June 2020 - UniSport commits to inclusion with membership of Pride in Sport

4th March 2020 - Finalists announced for National LGBTQ sporting inclusion awards

10th January 2020 - National Cricket Inclusion Championships return to Geelong

22nd June 2019 - New research shows Homophobic language rife in ice hockey

14th June 2019 - Sporting clubs and organisations recognised for LGBTQ inclusion

30th May 2019 - Belgravia Leisure staff recognised at national inclusion and diversity awards

24th April 2019 - New research explores why homophobic language is used in sport

9th April 2019 - Awards return to celebrate LGBTQ inclusion in Australian sport

24th November 2018 - Research shows sportsmen still using homophobic slurs on the field

31st August 2018 - Study shows education can change homophobic attitudes in sport

9th July 2018 - Dual Olympian Daniel Kowalski takes on AOC role

20th June 2018 - Athletes, clubs and organisations recognised for LGBTI inclusion

8th April 2018 - New awards to celebrate LGBTI inclusion in Australian sport

21st August 2017 - Little Athletics Australia and Athletics Australia to deliver nationwide inclusion framework

19th July 2017 - AFL club St Kilda affirms commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion

25th May 2017 - AFL named ‘organisation of the year’ at LGBTI inclusion awards

30th March 2017 - Free Rainbow Laces distribution boosts ongoing campaign for inclusion in sport

1st December 2016 - Swimming Australia launches inclusion framework

31st March 2016 - Rainbow Laces campaign aims to kick homophobia out of sport

16th March 2016 - Major sporting codes sign up for new system to measure LGBTI inclusion

28th June 2015 - Anti-Homophobia in sport campaign wins international awards

31st August 2014 - Bingham Cup organisers report on anti-homophobia framework


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