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Not everyone identifies as male or female, or feels safe in gendered spaces. This can be especially true around participation in sport. From inaccessible facilities to a lack of trans-awareness, and even hostility and exclusion from competition.
Here are five simple ways that transgender sports stars, fitness fanatics and complete newbies can be made to feel welcome.
Private and gender-neutral changing facilities
Getting changed can be a big area of concern when it comes to making sport trans-accessible. Private changing cubicles and clearly signposted gender-neutral changing facilities, alongside male and female changing facilities, helps everyone make the right choice for how they feel comfortable.
Poolside, a changing village made up of predominantly private gender-neutral changing cubicles gives everyone the privacy they need.
As with changing facilities, having gender-neutral toilets available on every floor of the sports building, alongside male and female gendered toilet blocks, gives everyone access to the facilities they identify with.
Trans sport programme
A sports and wellness programme specifically catering for members of the trans community will help remove any barriers and make more trans people feel like they have a friendly and welcoming entry point to begin or continue their fitness journey.
A trans swimming session can make people feel more relaxed by creating a comfortable atmosphere where you can wear the clothing or kit that you feel comfortable in, such as rash vests, binders and t-shirts.
A right to dignity and respect
Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect, and transphobia, bullying, harassment or violence towards the trans community should not be tolerated.
When you have a strong set of values that everyone is behind, it makes it easier for people to speak out and challenge inappropriate behaviour. It’s also important to encourage, equip, and support people around you to do the same.
Staff, session leaders and volunteers that have received trans awareness training can make the trans community feel confident that they’ll be met with understanding, good practice and appropriate support.
Having people, such as our Sports Engagement Team, that work closely with members of the trans community can help develop your everyday practice and provision and mean your staff are approachable and supportive.
The Sports and Wellness Hub aims to make sport accessible for all and features private and gender-neutral changing facilities, and gender-neutral toilets. Warwick Sport are also developing trans sport sessions and ensuring that all staff are welcoming and sensitive to all our customers.