TORONTO (U SPORTS) – The national brand of university sports in Canada announced today an
inclusive new transgender policy for student-athletes at its 56 member institutions across the
Effective immediately, U SPORTS student-athletes will be eligible to compete on the team that
corresponds with either their sex assigned at birth or their gender identity, provided that the
student-athlete complies with the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. The new policy was developed
by the U SPORTS Equity Committee, in consultation with the broader U SPORTS membership,
and approved by the U SPORTS Board of Directors.
“The members of the Equity Committee were driven to ensure that all students at our Canadian
universities have equal opportunities of being selected to varsity teams regardless of their gender
or their gender identity and expression,” said Lisen Moore, Chair of the U SPORTS Equity
Committee and Manager of Varsity Sports, Athletics and Recreation at McGill University. “We are
thrilled by the support of the Board on our leading-edge transgender policy, and we are now
looking forward to assisting our member institutions with the roll-out and implementation of that
The Equity Committee, which has been working on a policy for transgender student-athletes since
2016, was guided by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport’s (CCES) “Creating Inclusive
Environments for Trans Participants in Canadian Sport” report. The Canadian Association for the
Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) also provided feedback.
“Diversity and inclusion are hallmarks of high performing groups and are central to the future of
sport,” said Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, Chief Executive Officer of CAAWS. “We applaud U
SPORTS for their leadership on this topic in setting out a transgender inclusion policy that is based
on evidence and reflects a sincere commitment to building an inclusive sport system. We hope
others are inspired by this example.”
A student-athlete remains limited to five total years of eligibility, and may only compete on sport
teams of one gender during a given academic year, according to the policy.
In accordance with the CCES guidance report, U SPORTS’ approved policy does not require
student-athletes to undertake hormone therapy in order for them to compete in the gender category
that is consistent with their gender identity.
“U SPORTS is very grateful to our Equity Committee for the rigour and comprehensiveness with
which they researched this topic, and for their thoughtful approach when consulting both with our
members and with external experts,” said David Goldstein, Chief Operating Officer of U SPORTS.
“Ultimately, the Equity Committee brought forward a well-informed and well-conceived
recommendation that was enthusiastically supported by our Board of Directors. U SPORTS
recognizes the importance of this topic, and the importance of getting this policy right. We are
proud of both the process and the outcome, and look forward to implementing this policy as we
continue our efforts to realize and enact our vision, mission, and values.”
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