The decision by swimming’s international federation, FINA, to adopt a new policy on gender inclusion is welcome and will ensure fairness in competition for women and girls in swimming, Save Women’s Sports spokeswoman Ro Edge says.
“FINA have done the right thing, and brought back fairness for women and girls in competitive swimming. The scientific evidence, public opinion and of course common sense all support this move.
“Male puberty confers a lifelong performance advantage in sport which can’t be reversed. Now other international sports federations must follow FINA’s lead,” Ms Edge says.
FINA’s policy includes the establishment of an open category and is obligatory for all national swimming organisations, overriding any ‘domestic policies’.
Swimming New Zealand President, Dr David Gerrard, started the initiative at FINA and says the decision made by FINA to protect the integrity of female sport has been greeted by an overwhelming majority of stakeholders.
“It was informed by irrefutable evidence from medicine and science, balanced by opinions from lawyers versed in human rights. But the most compelling arguments came from two icons of international swimming, Summer Sanders (USA) and Cate Campbell (AUS) whose heartfelt sentiments reflected a sincere desire for fairness above all else,” Dr Gerrard says.
“This was never about denying transgender athletes the opportunity to participate in aquatic sport, but rather, a decision based on proportionality. Biological females represent over 50% of the world's population and their voice has finally been heard by an international federation with the guts to protect their unassailable rights."
Ms Edge says most sport is not played at an elite or international level and there is also the need to ensure fairness for girls and women in community and grassroots sports.
“Sport NZ are undertaking a final round of consultation on their Guidelines for Transgender Participation, which will enable people to participate in sport in the gender they identify as, and not the sex they were assigned at birth. It does not ask people to prove or otherwise justify their gender, sex or gender idntity and no transition is required.
“We agree with FINA and the UK Sports Council that if sports want fairness for females, they must have a category that’s only for those born female. There should be a place in sport for everyone, but that cannot be in the female category. We call on Sport NZ to pause and reassess their transgender guidelines.”
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June 20th 2022 - FINA Decision will Ensure Fairness for Females