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Sport NZ is currently developing guiding principles for the inclusion of transgender participants in community sport (not elite 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.

As a kaitiaki of the sport and recreation sector, Sport NZ is focused on improving the wellbeing of everyone in Aotearoa through sport and physical activity. Our vision is Every Body Active, and we’re particularly focused on those at greatest risk of missing out. That includes certain age groups and ethnicities and those living in financial hardship. It also includes transgender participants, for whom sport in particular may not be meeting their needs or making them feel included.

We have also developed these principles in response to requests for guidance from several national sporting organisations.

We want to help sport organisations because we know playing sport provides many physical and psychological benefits for individuals. These include providing the opportunity for people to socialise, build relationships and engage with their communities. Exclusion from sport can have an alienating effect that can be particularly harmful to transgender people who may have lived experience of mental distress and marginalisation, including chronic and repeated experiences of exclusion, stigma and discrimination in many areas of their daily life.

Who are the guiding principles for?

These guiding principles are for community sport only. Elite sport is generally governed by the policies of international federations.

While some clubs may choose to use the guiding principles to help shape their approach, they are primarily designed as a basis for national sporting organisations to develop a policy for community sport within their code. NZ Rugby is an example of a sport already working towards this.

It is important to note that these are guiding principles and not a final policy to be implemented by Sport NZ or any individual code. The intention is for individual sports to use these to guide the development of specific policies for community sport within their codes, some clubs may also use them to help create a more inclusive environment.

Are they final?

Not quite. Sport NZ is carrying out a final round of consultation with key stakeholders before finalising the guiding principles. These include organisations with expertise in this area, a representative group of national sporting organisations and other relevant government agencies. We expect individual sports will consult more widely (e.g. at club level) should they chose to develop a specific policy for their sport.

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