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Angling Trust Team England international selection policy amended following detailed consultation process
The Angling Trust, the National Governing Body for recreational fishing in England, have approved a revised selection policy relating to transgender and non-binary participants following a detailed review process.
The amendment means that anglers who have transitioned from male to female will no longer be permitted to compete for England in the ladies’ category but will continue to be eligible for the existing universal (open) category in both domestic and international events.
In 2018, the Angling Trust sought clarification from international bodies CIPS (Confederation Internationale de la Peche Sportive) and FIPS (Federation Internationale de la Peche Sportive) on their transgender participation policies. Both bodies referenced a competitor’s passport or gender recognition certificate as the determining factor for eligibility.
In 2022, in line with Sport England requirement, the Angling Trust began its own review of domestic and international selection policies relating to transgender and non-binary participants with a focus upon fairness, safety and inclusion. This process has involved significant input from across the competition angling community.
Angling Trust CEO Jamie Cook said:
“This is an extremely emotive subject and one we have seen a number of other sport struggle with. We have run a thorough and detailed process in line with the best practice established across the sporting sector and we are grateful for all of the input and advice we have received from across the competition angling community.
“As a result of the consultation process, the Angling Trust have amended international selection criteria for England teams meaning that male to female transitioned anglers will no longer be permitted to compete in the ladies’ category. These anglers will continue to be eligible for the existing universal (open) category in both domestic and international events.
“Angling has a strong heritage of open events and both our National and World Championships are already universal (open) categories allowing the best anglers to compete regardless of gender. The evidence generated through our review process established that strength, stamina and physical attributes have the potential to offer competitors a significant advantage and in doing so impact fairness. In line with Sport England’s review process, we have therefore deemed that angling is a gender impacted sport and have amended our policy accordingly.
“Growing female participation is a core focus for the organisation and an area in which we have seen great success in recent years. Ensuring the integrity of the female category across all disciplines of angling will remove potential barriers and ensure clear pathways for participation growth to lead to domestic and international success. Having discussed this matter with other sports governing bodies who are building new universal (open) categories we are well advanced in this respect, and we are confident that our revised policy offers opportunities for all to compete fairly and safely in one of England’s largest participation sports.
“We will continue to work with CIPS and FIPS to support anglers impacted by these changes and to ensure that the international universal category is welcoming and accessible to all.”
The Angling Trust had previously committed to implement any revised policy from 1st January 2024 in line with the international season, however in light of CIPS’s announcement of an immediate change to its own position we can confirm that this policy will now come into force immediately.
Please remember that angling is one of the most inclusive sports in the UK. Transgender and non-binary anglers remain welcome to participate in the vast majority of our competitions which are, with limited age restrictions, fished on a “universal” basis. Non-competitive recreational angling is open to all across both freshwater and marine environments.
In the event that you feel our policy position is affecting your health and well-being, there are a number of organisations you may contact for independent support. These include: