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Beyond the gender binary: A guide toward trans and non-binary inclusion in sport for development

Beyond the gender binary: A guide toward trans and non-binary inclusion in sport for development

Publication type

Manuals and Tools





This resource by Laureus and the accompanying research aim to answer the question of how Sport for Development (SfD) organisations are taking action to include transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming (trans)youth.

Trans youth everywhere are often marginalized from sport participation and many have had traumatic and negative experiences with sport. Studies demonstrate that trans people around the world are at greater risk of social isolation, homelessness, poor mental health and discrimination, which is compounded in many countries by a lack of legal protections and punitive national laws against LGBTQI+ and trans people. 

Due to social discrimination and stigma, as well as multiple barriers to participating in sport (such as lack of inclusive policies, close-minded coaches, fear of binary sport spaces, lack of inclusive facilities, etc.) trans youth face numerous, complex obstacles that keep them from enjoying sports and therefore from the potential benefit of participation in sport.

Because SfD organisations often provide sport activities that are non-competitive and not governed by the trans exclusive policies that elite sports can be, they are in a unique position to provide a space and support for trans youth.

This guide is based on the reflections of the initial actions taken by nine organisations to become more trans inclusive.

The nine organisations are Laureus Sport for Good Foundation funded partners from six different countries: The Wave Project in the UK; Naz Foundation in India; Skateistan in South Africa and Afghanistan; ChildFund Sport for Development in Laos; Active Communities Network in Northern Ireland; School of Hard Knocks in Wales; Waves for Change in South Africa; Slum Soccer in India; and The Running Charity in the UK.

Each of these nine organisations had previously identified a lack of trans youth in their programmes and participated in the research to share and exchange with others about how to address trans exclusion.



Alison Carney


Wednesday, April 27, 2022 - 11:02

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