UniSport Australia launches trans and gender diverse inclusion policy
On Thursday 1 October, in a world first, eight peak Australian sporting bodies came together at the Sydney Cricket Ground to make a commitment to implement governance that supports a greater level of inclusion for trans and gender diverse people in their sports.
Published on the 09 October 2020
Along with UniSport Australia, the AFL, Hockey Australia, Netball Australia, Rugby Australia, Tennis Australia, NRL Touch Football and Water Polo Australia unvelied their policies and guidelines to make their sports more inclusive.
After launching their own trans and gender diverse inclusion governance in 2019, Cricket Australia have also committed to supporting other sporting organisations 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 sporting organisations 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.
Speaking at the policy launch, Pride in Sport co-patron and UNSW Sports Advisory Council member Alex Blackwell emphasised the importance of inclusion and making sport a place where all Australians are welcome.
"Sports have forever been evolving. The evolution to include women - while slow - has been tremendous," she said. "Now it is time to include all gender identities, so that sport can reach it’s full potential to positively impact all pockets of our community. I congratulate all sports who are pledging their commitments today - to find a way - to evolve - so we can welcome everyone into our great games."
CEO of UniSport Australia Mark Sinderberry was delighted to launch his organisation's policy and create a more inclusive environment within university sport.
“UniSport Australia applauds and congratulates Pride in Sport and the nine national sporting organisations involved in today’s announcement," he said. "The new sports specific trans and gender diverse policies are a significant step forward to providing a safe and inclusive environment in sport across all levels of sport in which we are proud to be part of.”