• ENGSO

Toward a more inclusive (grassroots) sport: Developments & learnings on inclusion of trans women

Updated: Sep 1

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Toward a more inclusive (grassroots) sport

Developments and learnings on the inclusion of trans women in sport


Date: 7 September 2022 Time: 13:00 - 14:00 CEST

Location: online


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The second ENGSO EWS webinar will tackle the topic of equality and inclusion in grassroots sport, specifically focusing on the developments and learnings on the inclusion of trans women in sport.


The programme


Welcoming words

  • Stefan Berg, ENGSO President

  • Sarah Townsend, EWS Member and Co-President EGLSF


Exposing the myths around trans inclusion in sport

  • Joanna Harper, Loughborough University


Where does the world governing body (IOC) stand?

  • Dr. Madeleine Pape, Inclusion specialist, IOC


Let’s talk about grassroots sport

  • Natalie Washington, football player and activists


Interaction with the audience


Closing remarks

  • Sallie Barker, Chair EWS



Meet the guest speakers:


Joanna Harper, Loughborough University

Joanna Harper has been studying transgender athletes for several years and is the firstauthor of four peer-reviewed papers on the subject. She is currently the Visiting Fellow for Transgender Athletic Research at Loughborough University and a PhD student at the university.

In one of her articles, it reads that although “humans get sorted into male and female bins from the moment of birth“, “the question of precisely who should compete in the male and female categories is one of the most emotional and complex issues facing elite sport in recent times.” We look forward to hearing more about your scientific journey, exposing some of the myths around trans inclusion in sport for us.


Dr. Madeleine Pape, Inclusion specialist, IOC

Madeleine is a sociologist of gender at the University of Lausanne whose work examines how knowledge claims about “sex” and“gender” shape policy across diverse institutional contexts. Madeleine’s expertise is unique in combining a PhD in sociology (University of Wisconsin-Madison) with her background as an Olympic athlete, having competed for Australia in Athletics (800m) at the 2008 Olympic Games. Madeleine’s work is also informed by her experience of racing against Caster Semenya at the 2009 World Championships.

Madeleine has been engaged by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since March 2022 to support the rollout of the IOC Framework on Fairness, Inclusion, and Non-Discrimination.


Natalie Washington, football player and activists

Natalie, has played football at Rushmoor FC in the Southern Region Division One. Her journey in grassroots football was marked by ups and downs, from playing men’s football until into her late twenties to meeting the requirements to join women’s football and being a role model for other (younger) trans people who want to be or stay involved in the game. Natalie is also a Trustee for Trans Pride Brighton, a yearly celebration of trans and non-binary identity. We look forward to hearing the impact policies have on the lives of grassroots athletes on the field.




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