On Side
On Side
Oct 15, 2019
Transgender issues in sport with Dr David Hughes
Play • 13 min

AIS Chief Medical Officer Dr David Hughes talks about the issues of inclusion in sport following the release of the Guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in sport in June. Sport Australia, in consultation with the Australian Human Rights Commission (HRC) and the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports, whose members include the AFL, Tennis Australia, Rugby Australia, Netball Australia and Cricket Australia, established guidelines for the nation to promote more inclusive practices for transgender and gender diverse people in sport.

Dr Hughes says transgender and gender diversity is not a sport issue, it’s a societal issue. “It’s important that sport at all time reflects societal changes, and moves with societal changes,” Dr Hughes says. “Transgender individuals have for many years been on the margins of society and not accepted in the main stream and I think sport has an important role here by promoting diverse gender inclusion to ensure that every Australian fulfils their right to have their life enriched by sport.”

The guidelines include information, case studies and steps to ensure an inclusive sporting environment. He says the document is targeted at the grassroots and has relevance for elite sports, but “I don’t think its purpose is to try and sort out the complex issues that specifically apply to high performance sport where there are issues between getting the balance right between fairness and inclusion”. “Everyone has the right to compete and enjoy the benefits sport offers but at the highest levels of sport, fairness is critical,” he says. “At the grassroots, we should err on the side of inclusion.”

Produced by Lyndall Larkham & Tim Gavel Recorded, edited & mixed by Ryan Micallef

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