Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES): Creating Inclusive Environments for Trans Participants in Canadian Sport

About CCES

Canadian sport organizations consistently work to adapt and improve their policies and practices. In recent years, an increasing number of national, provincial and local sport organizations have sought support from the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES), and others, to understand and improve their policies and practices as they relate to trans participants. This has been driven both by an increasing number of trans participants choosing to participate in sport at all levels, as well as organizations that are proactively making their policies more inclusive in anticipation of trans participants.

Over the past two years, the CCES has facilitated an Expert Working Group tasked with understanding the existing research, issues and best practices concerning the inclusion of trans participants in sport, and providing guidance to sport organizations at all levels of the Canadian sport system. This document outlines the Expert Working Group’s policy and practice recommendations, and is being made available to Canadian sport organizations to help in their work towards making their sport more inclusive.

This document is organized into four sections:

The first section provides background knowledge and definitions that will help sport organizations become better
informed about concepts and terms related to sex and gender, and their intersection with sport.

The second section focuses on practice and policy guidance for recreational and developmental sport. Since the vast majority of Canadian sport participation is at the recreational or developmental level, adopting welcoming and inclusive policies and practices at this level will have the greatest impact.

The third section addresses issues and considerations that are unique to the high-performance level of sport in Canada. Although the policy and practice recommendations in this section apply to a very small proportion of Canadians, there has been a disproportionate focus on this aspect in the development of trans inclusion policies, to date.

The Appendices include further detailed guidance on best practices and additional resources.

This document is primarily written for the largely cisgender group of individuals responsible for setting policies in Canadian sport organizations. However, the information in this document is important for trans and gender-diverse people, too. Gaining a deeper understanding of how your sport organization should support you can also help to drive and sustain change. It is important that you are aware of your rights and understand that you are to be treated with dignity and respect. But it is not solely the role of trans people to make sport inclusive; everyone has a part to play in this process and there are respectful things that everyone can do.

While the Expert Working Group recognized this guidance is an important next step in creating a Canadian sport system that is welcoming and inclusive to trans participants, continued efforts and resources are also needed to further support sport organizations in their efforts to educate their members on trans inclusion and proactively adopt best practices.

Need support?

If you or someone close to you are in crisis and need immediate support, please contact:

Canadian Sport Helpline