Angling Trust clarifies transgender participation policy following England Ladies Shore Team resignations

Following media interest and speculation over the current Angling Trust policy on transgender athletes within angling competitions, triggered by the recent resignation of three members of the England Ladies Shore Fishing Team, chief executive Jamie Cook has intervened to clarify where the Trust has got to regarding the policy review required by Sport England.

Jamie Cook said: 

“All sporting governing bodies within the Sport England family have been obliged to review their diversity and equality policies with regards to who is eligible to fish in the female category of international teams and to strike a balance between safety, fairness, and inclusion. This review is yet to be completed, and until it is our policy remains the same as the international angling governing bodies – CIPS and FIPS – and recognises the gender of an angler based upon their passport or gender recognition certificate direct from a doctor if no passport is held. Team selection is currently based on this policy but our ongoing consultation with women’s team members and managers, which will be a key part of our review, could see this change.”

He added:

“We have made huge efforts to make angling more inclusive and accessible to all. The growth in women’s angling is a huge success story for our sport. Our Get Fishing programme operates at 26% female participation and our ‘We Fish As One’ campaign is focused upon making angling accessible to all, creating environments, facilities and infrastructure available so that our wonderful pastime can be enjoyed by everyone.

“The fact is that the vast majority of competitive angling in this country is in ‘open’ competitions where male, female and transgender anglers have the opportunity to fish head-to-head against each other in the same contest, that also goes for the vast majority of Angling Trust National Championships. This is not the same in all other sports and I am confident that whatever the outcome of our review competitive angling opportunities will continue to exist and the sport of angling will remain inclusive for all regardless of age, race, gender or sexual orientation.”

Having already consulted with key team managers and a number of team members, the Angling Trust is preparing a survey of the views of anglers from across key parts of our community with a particular focus on the views of female anglers at domestic and international level. This is an ongoing process and any alterations to our existing policy will be communicated to our membership and will not come into force until 1st January 2024.


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