A petition is asking MPs to make Sport New Zealand consult with sporting associations, clubs and stakeholders on its draft guidelines that would see biological men play in women’s sport.
Save Women’s Sport New Zealand spokeswoman Ro Edge says Sport NZ has released its Draft Guiding Principles for the Participation of Transgender Players in Sport for consultation to a select group of rainbow organisations, academics, and government agencies.
“That consultation ends on June 21 and we don’t think it’s good enough for the potential ramifications it will have on girls and women’s sport in terms of fair competition and safety.” The petition, which has already attracted about 3000 signatures, asks the House of Representatives to urge Sport NZ to extend the document’s consultation to all sporting associations, clubs and their stakeholders around New Zealand before the guidelines are finalised.
Mrs Edge believes Sport New Zealand CEO Raelene Castle is being disingenuous in saying the guidelines will be more broadly consulted on.
“Sharing the guidelines with national sports bodies once they are finalised isn’t consulting, and that’s what will happen if MPs don’t force Sport NZ’s hand to extend its consultation.
“Sports bodies will be forced to adopt policies based on these guidelines and hope they don’t lose female participants or club members, as well as volunteers and administrators.
An extended consultation would enable more input and ideas and potentially a better solution for the inclusion of transgender players in sport.” Former New Zealand Olympic runner Lorraine Moller says the guidelines put at risk the considerable progress that has been made in the past 50 years to engage women in sport, although the participation of teenage females in regular activity still lags significantly behind their male counterparts.
“Sport NZ policies must continue to foster opportunity and encourage our girls and women to play sport. In their current form the proposed transgender guidelines would, in my opinion, negatively impact the participation of our girls, and potentially rob the opportunities of our top-level sports women in speed, strength and endurance events,” Moller says.
Mrs Edge says Sport NZ has focused on the inclusion of transgender individuals and the ability for them to choose which sports category they want to participate in above all other considerations.
“We believe they have failed to consider all the available scientific and peer reviewed evidence on the ramifications of their policy for female athletes who have a right to fair and safe competition, and safe spaces away from males.” The petition closes on June 9 and can be found here.
NZ Spokesperson Save Women’s Sport Australasia
8th June 2021 -
MPs asked to make Sport NZ consult on Transgender Guidelines