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Women’s group launches campaign to defend female sport
New Zealand group Speak Up For Women has launched a campaign encouraging sports fans to demand the defence of women’s sport, given what it says is inaction over the issue from sport officials.
This follows trans athlete Laurel Hubbard, who has competed as a male, controversially taking the gold medal in women’s weightlifting at the Pacific Games last week, displacing Samoa’s Commonwealth Games gold medallist Feagaiga Stowers and her compatriot Iuniarra Sipaia, who would otherwise have placed first and second overall.
Speak Up For Women’s spokesperson Ani O’Brien stated “Kiwis know that males competing in women’s sport is blatantly unfair. As a nation we pride ourselves on being good sports, and going into the Olympics next year this is not a good look.
"We’ve met with senior figures in the sports community who agree the rules allowing this to happen are not fair - but they won’t speak out for fear of backlash from transactivists, who quickly shut down any discussion with accusations of bigotry.”
Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Neioti Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi said he was shocked when he heard about Hubbard’s win and that it should never have been allowed to happen.
O’Brien added “the Samoan government has spoken up for its female athletes and it’s time our government did the same.
"We’re calling on Kiwis to head over to the Speak Up For Women website, where they can easily email Hon. Grant Robertson, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and tell him to step up now and kick these rules into touch."
Image of Laurel Hubbard courtesy of Joseph McCray IWF
24th July 2019 - Athlete rights crucial to sporting integrity
23rd July 2019 - Sport NZ recognises innovative ways to get young women in active
8th July 2019 - XVI Pacific Games opens in Samoa
11th December 2018 - Sport NZ releases review of athletes’ rights and welfare
31st October 2018 - Sport NZ seeks public views on sporting integrity
19th March 2018 - Study shows New Zealanders appreciate the Value of Sport
13th September 2016 - New Forum to explore inclusion and diversity in sport
31st May 2016 - New Zealand’s major sports commit to diversity and inclusion
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