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Guiding Principles

Inclusion of Transgender People in Community Sport

Sport NZ has developed guiding principles for the inclusion of transgender people in community sport (not elite sport). These are designed to help sporting and other bodies consider and plan for how they can become more inclusive and supportive of transgender people. This may include amending existing policies or creating a new transgender policy.


Guiding principles for the inclusion of transgender people in community sport

Why have these been developed?

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). 

Sport NZ has developed guiding principles for the inclusion of transgender people in community sport to assist organisations with developing a policy. 

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. 

Why are these required?

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 people, 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. 

If you have any questions about the guidelines or require support working with them, please email

If you require an accessible version of any content on the site please contact us and we will be happy to assist.

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