Gymnastics Australia, the country’s governing body for the sport, has released new guidelines to accommodate for and protect transgender and gender-diverse athletes.
In an age where transgender athletes are being targeted by ignorant hysteria at every corner, from track and field to chess – yes, chess – this is a welcome breath of fresh air from the Aussies.
In a huge shake-up, Gymnastics Australia published their Guidelines for the Inclusion of Transgender and Gender Diverse People in Community Gymnastics, making it crystal clear that they have zero tolerance for ‘discrimination of any sort’.
Gymnastics Australia has established new guidelines to better accommodate transgender athletes. (Getty Images)
The guidelines will allow athletes to pick the uniforms that align best with their gender identity, compete in the divisions that best reflect that identity, and use the facilities that make them feel most comfortable while in Gymnastics Australia or Australian Gymnastics Organisation spaces.
Gymnastics Australia’s CEO Alexandra Ash pledged the organisation’s commitment to “foster safe and inclusive environments” for anyone who wants to take part in the sport.
The guidelines acknowledged that gymnastics is one of the “highest participation sports for Australians aged under 12” and that there is a responsibility to “support and protect young Australians navigating their gender identity in sport.”
In terms of uniforms, Gymnastics Australia will now allow individuals to “wear the uniform of their choosing as it aligns with their gender identity, so long as it abides by the Gymnastics Australia Uniform Policy.”
When it comes to facilities, the organisation recognised that people “have a right to use changing and bathroom facilities which best reflect their gender identity” and pledged to advocate for more inclusive spaces when new facilities were built.
Gymnasts will be able to choose the uniform that best aligns with their gender identity. (Getty Images)
Athletes competing in all community events, and leagues will be allowed to “participate in the competition that best reflects their gender identity.”
However, the governing body did acknowledge that elite and sub-elite competitions could stray from Gymnastics Australia’s guidelines, as they would be governed by an international federation.
To accommodate for this, Gymnastics Australia and the Australian Gymnastics Organisation have pledged to make it clear to athletes when their guidelines won’t apply for any competitions, leagues or events.
Commenting on the updated guidelines, Ash stated: “We want all Australians to feel a sense of belonging and know there is a place in our sport for everyone, exactly as they are,” she said.
“This is a small step on our journey in building welcoming and inclusive gymnastics environments and we look forward to working with our community to ensure we remain united through movement.”