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As a kaitiaki of the play, active recreation and sport system, Sport NZ is focused on improving the physical activity levels and wellbeing of all those living within Aotearoa New Zealand. Transgender people, like all New Zealanders, should be able to participate in and safely enjoy the sports or physical activities of their choice.

This is important because being active improves our physical and mental health. It also connects us with other people in our community and has been proven to improve school attendance and academic achievement.

Exclusion from physical activity can have an alienating effect on individuals and groups. This can be particularly harmful to transgender people who may have lived experience of mental distress and marginalisation, including chronic, repeated experiences of exclusion, stigma and discrimination, in many areas of their daily life.

We are encouraging sport and physical activity to be provided in an inclusive way that ensures that everyone is able to, and feels comfortable, undertaking physical activity. An inclusive approach allows transgender individuals to take part in their self-determined gender and not the sex they were assigned at birth. It does not ask people to prove or otherwise justify their gender, sex or gender identity.

Transgender Policies

We encourage sport and recreation organisations, particularly at a national level, to have a policy for transgender inclusion. This should include a clear statement and/or objectives that promote the inclusion of all transgender participants, signalling to transgender people that they are welcome, encouraging them to remain engaged.  It should also provide guidance to staff and volunteers.

It is important to remember that any policies covering the inclusion of transgender participants should be broad in their coverage, to include consideration of everyone who may be involved in physical activity (for example, transgender parents, employees, coaches, board members, organisers and volunteers).

To assist organisations with developing a policy, Sport NZ is developing guiding principles for the inclusion of transgender individuals in community sport. Final consultation on these is currently underway, and part of this is about finding out what support organisations will require to develop their own policies, so that we can look at how we can help them to achieve this.

While these guiding principles have been developed for community sport, we also see them helping organisations across the broader play, active recreation and sport system.

Further Information

There are also a range of other resources and organisations to help you consider and improve the inclusion of transgender participations. We suggest:

  • F’INE Pasifika Aotearoa Trust – a Pasifika LGBTQIA+-focused provider, providing whānau ora navigational services in the Auckland region
  • Gender Minorities Aotearoa – a cross-cultural, transgender-led organisation that operates on a kaupapa Māori public health framework. It provides research, information and resources, advocacy, education and training, support, and referrals to other services
  • InsideOUT – an organisation that provides workshops, resources and support to help make schools, community organisations and workplaces inclusive for rainbow people
  • New Zealand Human Rights Commission – an advocate for the fair treatment of all members of the LGBTQIA+ communities. The Human Rights Commission offers a free, informal enquiries and complaints service to deal with unlawful discrimination. Complaints can be made by phone, email, letter, fax, text or using the complaint form
  • OutLine – a confidential, free, LGBTQIA+ affirming support line and face-to-face counselling
  • Rainbow YOUTH – a charitable organisation dedicated to helping young queer and gender diverse people up to the ages of 27, as well as their wider communities
  • Drug Free Sport New Zealand – New Zealand’s national anti-doping organisation
  • Sport New Zealand – as a kaitiaki of the play, active recreation and sports system in Aotearoa New Zealand, integrity resources are included on the Sport NZ website that provide community guidance on child protection, member protection, match-fixing and gambling, anti-doping and organisational culture. This includes policies, procedures and e-learning modules on specific integrity topics. Sport NZ also offers an independent Sport and Recreation Complaints and Mediation Service. Diversity and Inclusion resources and information can be found here: https://sportnz.org.nz/diversity-and-inclusion/

 

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