Sport and Physical Activity - Gender Inclusion

Sport and Physical Activity - Gender Inclusion
Prepared by  Prepared by: Dr Ralph Richards, Senior Research Consultant, Clearinghouse for Sport, Australian Sports Commission
Last updated  Last updated: 16 June 2017
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Sexuality and Gender Perspectives on Sports Ethics
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Peak sports bodies around the world recognise that the benefits of sport are best achieved when programs and opportunities are inclusive. Gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation should not be limiting factors for participation in sport and other forms of physical activity.

The International Olympic Committee has proclaimed that:

Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example, social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles. The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. Olympic Charter (PDF  - 1.5 MB), International Olympic Committee, in force from 2 August 2016

Principle 6 under the ‘Fundamental Principles of Olympism’ states:

The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Olympic Charter shall be secured without discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Fundamental Principles of Olympism

Key Messages 


Gender and gender identity are often defining factors of sporting opportunities, funding, and recognition; although they should not be.


Gender equity in sport is part of an inclusive framework that is consistent with the ideals of sport.


Sport participation should not be limited by sexual orientation or transgender assignment.

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