CCES Releases Guide to Creating Inclusive Environments for Trans Participants in Canadian Sport

(Ottawa, Ontario – May 4, 2016) – The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) released today a document entitled, “Creating Inclusive Environments for Trans Participants in Canadian Sport - Guidance for Sport Organizations,” developed in consultation with the Trans Inclusion in Sport Expert Working Group.

The guidance was developed in response to an increasing number of national, provincial and local sport organizations seeking advice from CCES to inform their policies and practices relating to trans participants. In response, the CCES convened an Expert Working Group tasked with understanding the existing research, issues and best practices concerning the inclusion of trans participants in sport and providing guidance to sport organizations at all levels of the Canadian sport system. This document outlines policy and practice recommendations, and is being made available to Canadian sport organizations to help in their work to make their sport more inclusive. 

“I commend the work that the Trans Inclusion in Sport Expert Working Group has done to develop guiding policy and practices for sport organizations to better include trans participants in the Canadian sport system,” said the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. “The Government of Canada supports all efforts to better understand the perspective of trans athletes, so that all Canadians can experience the benefits of sport in a safe and inclusive environment. Sport is for all, without exception.”

“Sport has traditionally been built around categories for males and females, but as we continue to better understand the complexities of gender identity and diversity, we realize that this construct doesn’t make space for everyone to participate, particularly trans athletes,” said Paul Melia, President and CEO of the CCES. “Sport communities can apply this policy guidance and these best practices to create an environment in which all athletes feel included.” 

“The thoughtful deliberations and professional advice of the Expert Working Group brought this to life. We are grateful for their engagement and leadership throughout the project,” added Melia.

“This policy guidance reflects a significant shift in social dialogue around inclusion and gender diversity. It’s a departure from a way of thinking that demanded trans and gender diverse people to change who they are in order to be included,” said Ryan Dyck, Director of Research, Policy and Development, Egale Canada Human Rights Trust. “This places the onus on sport organizations to foster open, nurturing and equitable spaces for all people to live authentically, reach their whole potential and have a fulfilling sport experience. It opens the door for sport to be a leader in building inclusive communities.”

Research suggests that as many as one in 200 adults maybe be trans, which represents as many as 175,000 Canadians. This guidance is an important step in creating a Canadian sport system that provides trans children, youth and adults a fair, safe and open place to play. 

The CCES welcomes feedback on this document, and encourages the Canadian sport community to share success stories and learnings about their trans inclusion work. This knowledge and experience may be used to inform future resources and guidance.

Further reading:

The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport is an independent, national, not-for-profit organization. We recognize that true sport can make a great difference for individuals, communities and our country. The CCES acknowledges funding, in part, from the Government of Canada. We are committed to working collaboratively to activate a values-based and principle-driven sport system; protecting the integrity of sport from the negative forces of doping and other unethical threats; and advocating for sport that is fair, safe and open to everyone.

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