“For some people they’d never be able to tick all those boxes”: Exclusion of trans and non-binary identities in university sport policy

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    Sport is considered an important aspect of university life in the UK, often used as a means to ease the transition into this setting and meet new people. However, rules and regulations in the competitive university sport context may exclude some students who are trans and non-binary. For instance, British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS), the governing body for university sport in the UK, often relies on wider inclusion policies, taken from the relevant national or international governing body for each sport. These policies do vary regarding their evidence base, and how appropriate they may be in the university sport context. With this in mind, this chapter aims to explore perceptions of trans and non-binary inclusion within BUCS competition, with an emphasis on policies in place in the university context. To do this, focus groups and questionnaires were conducted with trans and non-binary students across four institutions, with a total sample size of eight students. Furthermore, across the same institutions, six student union officers shared their views on trans and non-binary inclusion in university sport. Findings suggest the reliance on binary gender categories in wider sport policies can be problematic for many students, who often must meet complex and strict criteria in order to participate in sport. As student unions are constrained by wider policies, they may feel unable to act to ensure inclusive environments. This chapter includes suggestions for future research and has practical outcomes which may be useful for student unions, university sport clubs and other bodies in control of sport provision to increase inclusion for all.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationGender Diversity in Sport
    Subtitle of host publicationInterdisciplinary Perspectives on Increasing Inclusivity
    EditorsGemma Witcomb, Elizabeth Peel
    Place of PublicationAbingdon
    ISBN (Electronic)9781003050568
    ISBN (Print)9780367506285
    Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2022

    Publication series

    NameGender and Sexualities in Psychology


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