General News

UK Sports Council issues new guidelines on trans inclusion

Rachel Badham September 30, 2021

The Sports Councils Equality Group (SCEG) has issued new advice on trans participation in sports, stating that organisers should consider their priorities, and choose whether they will focus on inclusion or “competitive fairness”. According to BBC Sport, the guidance, which refers to community sport up to a national level, suggested that “for many sports, the inclusion of transgender people, fairness and safety cannot co-exist in a single competitive model”.

Therefore, it will be up to local governing bodies to “think in innovative and creative ways to ensure nobody is left out”. Although the guide argued “sport must be a place…where everyone can take part”, it suggested that “testosterone suppression is unlikely to guarantee fairness between transgender women and natal females in gender-affected sports”. It encouraged organisers to create new leagues in their given sports, including “universal admission” or open categories.

Although the new guidance does not enforce rigid regulations, the Sports Council reiterated that it is “committed to the inclusion of transgender people in sport and physical activity”, adding: “In keeping with the findings of this review, the goals of acceptance, social inclusion and physical activity may be best achieved outside of the sex binary in grassroots and domestic sport. The introduction of new and different models within sport offers an alternative option to meet the needs of people across all the strands of the Equality Act.”