Transgender woman wants to play footy for local club
A TRANSGENDER woman wants to lace up the boots for the Ballina women's rugby union team precisely at a time when the sport's world governing body is considering banning such players.
It's understood the player spent some years playing men's rugby in Queensland, before applying to join the Ballina women's team.
Far North Coast Rugby Union has confirmed it has kicked the player's potential registration upstairs to the peak body Rugby Australia for a determination.
It's a political hot potato to sort out as World Rugby is considering a proposal to ban transgender athletes from women's contact rugby.
Recent research asserts there is at least a 20-30 per cent greater risk of injury when a female player is tackled by someone who has gone through male puberty.
Should a transgender person be allowed to play in a sport?
This poll ended on 27 August 2020.
No. It's unfair
As long as other players are not put at risk
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Ballina Rugby Union Club president Al Barrett said he had only met the player for the first time this week.
He said the issue of transgender players playing union was not something to which he had given a "great deal of thought".
"To be honest, it hasn't been something that's crossed my path. It's not something I have given a great deal of thought about until now," he said.
"If all things are passed by the powers that be, I don't see any reason why transgender players shouldn't be allowed to play a sport."
Under its current gender indemnity dispensation procedure, Rugby Australia states it is committed to supporting a player's participation in the gender with which they identify, "provided that it is safe for them and all other participants".
"Rugby Australia, New South Wales Rugby Union and the Far North Coast Rugby Union are in the early stages of a Gender Identity Dispensation assessment," Rugby Australia said in a statement.
"In community rugby, Rugby Australia is committed to supporting a player's participation in the gender with which they identify, provided that it is safe for them and all other participants.
"The process includes consent from the player or a parent/guardian, as well as a medical specialist and an assessment by an independent coach. A final determination will be made after all the documentation has been received and while the timeline varies from competition to competition, in most instances this can be achieved within two weeks."
A decision on whether to ban transgender players is expected to be taken at the World Rugby Council meeting in November.