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Student sports clubs

Access to sports facilities within educational establishments can often present particular difficulties for trans students. Gender segregation within changing facilities and sport events places transgender participants at increased risk of discrimination and harassment. It is vital for university and college sports facilities to provide both adequate privacy (such as individual enclosed shower and changing cubicles) within gender-specific facilities and also accessible gender-neutral changing facilities so that trans students are able to use sports and leisure services.

For social and casual sporting opportunities, whether or not someone is undergoing or has undergone gender reassignment should make no difference to fairness for all participants. Therefore, trans participants should be encouraged to simply take part in accordance with their gender identity and should not have to reveal details about their gender reassignment status or legal gender.

Where insurance is in place for potentially dangerous contact sports that would usually be anticipated to involve single-gender teams, student sports clubs should seek clarification with the insurance company that transgender participants will be covered by their insurance policy. The Caledonian Thebians successfully got their insurance company to formally agree that female-to-male trans men playing rugby with other men would be fully insured. If your student sports club experiences difficulties getting insurance coverage which is trans-inclusive, then please contact us.

For national and international competitive sporting events, Student Sports Clubs will need to consult the relevant official sporting organisation body regarding inclusion of trans participants. Most commonly, national and international level competition rules for gender-segregated sports (such as athletics) require that trans participants have undergone gender reassignment such that they have permanently legally changed their name and gender and that their current hormone levels are within the standard range for their acquired gender.

See the Out for Sport transgender specific companion report for our research into experiences of transphobia in sport.