Gymnastics Australia announces new transgender inclusive guidelines

Gymnastics Australia (GA) has this week unveiled new guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in community gymnastics with support from Pride in Sport.

The guidelines allow transgender and gender diverse gymnasts to choose the uniforms and events which they feel best suits their gender identity and uniforms are to be provided with an appropriate range of sizes and styles.

Within GA and Australian Gymnastics Organisation (AGO) managed facilities, people will have the right to use the change rooms and bathroom facilities that best reflect their gender identity.

For new facilities, and those receiving upgrades, GA and AGO will advocate for spaces that are inclusive of gender diversity to be created.

For “community gymnastics competitions”, gymnasts will be allowed to participate in the competition they feel best reflects their gender identity.

The term “community gymnastics competitions” applies to any competition or gymnastics league outside of Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG) sanctioned events or where qualification is being sought to represent national teams that compete in FIG events.

Under the guidelines, registration platforms for the sport in Australia must also be gender inclusive and provide individuals with the opportunity to provide their current gender identity.

A commitment to inclusion

Gymnastics Australia say the guidelines demonstrate their organisation’s ongoing commitment to ensure a safe, welcoming, and accessible sport for all athletes, coaches, and community members, regardless of their gender identity.

Gymnastics Australia CEO Alexandra Ash said the guidelines are another important step in cementing the sport’s core values of inclusivity and safety across all stakeholders and communities, and creating consistent guidelines that reflects the diversity of gymnastics across the country.

“Our commitment to transgender and gender diverse people involved in our sport is that gymnastics is and will continue to be a safe and inclusive environment for everyone, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, ability, cultural background, or ethnicity,” Ash said.

“Diversity ensures our sport is better for all involved, and we want everyone to feel comfortable and supported as part of the gymnastics community.

“We also want all members to feel celebrated in who they are and see them continue to contribute to the diverse community and legacy of gymnastics as one of Australia’s most popular sports for young people.”

One of Australia’s most popular sports for young people

At a community level, 800,000 Australians participate in gymnastics nationwide, and it is one of the highest participation sports for Australians aged under 12, and the sport recognises the need to support and protect young Australians navigating their gender identity in sport.

Alison Dunn, General Manager of Eastern Gymnastics Club in Box Hill, Melbourne, welcomed the announcement, acknowledging that while her club has always fostered a culture of inclusivity and diversity, organisational guidelines empower leaders across the sport to engage with and support diverse participants in a meaningful and consistent way.

“As a gymnastics community, we welcome participants, coaches, and members from all walks of life and as a club, we want to ensure everyone who walks through our doors feels welcomed as they are, where they are, regardless of their sex, gender identity, ability, skill level, or personal beliefs,” Dunn said.

“We want more Australians to experience the unique benefits of participating in gymnastics at a community level and the sense of teamwork, camaraderie, and a feeling of belonging that comes with that. I am proud to be a part of an organisation that takes such a strong hold on initiatives such as this.”

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Andrew M Potts

Andrew has been covering LGBTQIA+ issues for a range of publications in Australia over two decades and was the Asia-Pacific correspondent for global LGBTQIA+ news website Gay Star News.

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