The SGS project (Sport for all genders and sexualities) reached one of its main milestones this week by bringing together from Sept 30 to October 3 in Seville trainers and experts from the UK, Austria, Italy and Spain to address one among the most discussed LGBTQIA+ topics of the moment: transgender, non-binary and intersex people’s participation in sport.
Participants thoroughly analysed the current scenario, from the new guidelines of the Olympic Committee to the WHO removing gender dysphoria from the list of mental illnesses. Although some international federations are currently banning transgender women from competing in their gender category, there are a lot of different examples coming from amateur and grassroots sport, including national federations such as hockey and football in Germany, and Taekwondo in Spain.
A specific training pack with exercises, presentations, self-evaluation tools, interactive and non-formal sessions has been developed for different target groups and for the involvement of athletes as well as sport managers. The project revolves around principles such as equal and fair access to sport, body integrity and no presumption of advantage. As far as the IOC states that no restrictions in respect to these principles are justified without clear evidence, SGS aims to provide practices and tools to demonstrate that fairness, inclusion and non-discrimination can coexist together in sport.
Part of the training has been dedicated to the future phases of the Rising Together campaign, launched by the SGS partnership for the EU week of Sport 2023. More than 12 stories of trans, non-binary athletes and their allies are going to be published this month on project partners’ social media channels, along with infographics and learning points on the project’s topics. The Campaign stresses the importance of diversity in terms of bodies and identities in sport, taking example from rugby’s lineout lift, a situation where athletes with very different bodies are required, regardless of their gender.