OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada is proud to announce that it has enhanced its safe sport program with the addition of the Trans Inclusion Policy. Inclusion in sport is a fundamental value for Skate Canada and having more diverse participants will only strengthen the sport. The national policy was approved by the Skate Canada Board of Directors in 2018 and has officially been implemented across the entire membership.

“At Skate Canada we pride ourselves in being able to provide a safe and fun environment for all participants and the development of the Trans Inclusion Policy will ensure that all members in our community have an inclusive space to enjoy skating at every level,” said Leanna Caron, President, Skate Canada. “Skate Canada is committed to bringing our vision of inspiring all Canadians to embrace the joy of skating to life through investing in programs that seek to promote, celebrate, and recognize diversity.”

The Trans Inclusion Policy is to ensure that Skate Canada has a diverse and inclusive, barrier-free environment where every employee, board member, skater, official, coach, volunteer, and affiliate organizations of Skate Canada feels valued, respected and supported. As a result, the organization is fully committed to providing a safe, welcoming, and respectful environment for all, regardless of any actual or perceived differences based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, language, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or disability.

“Skate Canada’s trans inclusion policy was developed with input from members of the LGBTQI2S community as well as inclusive sport advocates. Since adoption, specific rules have been addressed to ensure athletes have the right to participate in a sport they love free from discrimination and exclusionary regulations,” said Dr. William Bridel, Assistant Professor, University of Calgary. “I hope that other organizations will use the policy as a template for their own sport as we work toward barrier-free participation in Canadian sport. Thank you Skate Canada, for being a leader in LGBTQI2S inclusive policy and practices.”

In competitions under Skate Canada jurisdiction, athletes can participate in the gender category in which they identify. All identifications of gender identity by athletes are believed to be made in good faith and do not require further disclosure or documentation. The eligibility guidelines of the International Skating Union (ISU), and/or any major national or international Games organization regarding transgender athlete participation will supersede the eligibility guidelines as outlined in Skate Canada’s policy.

This policy is one part of Skate Canada’s LGBTQI2S inclusion strategy and part of the overall safe sport framework. This past year Skate Canada has continued to work to develop and advance safe sport practises across its community. This season several safe sport initiatives have been launched, including the creation of an incident management system, mandatory Respect in Sport training, Code of Ethics training for all coaches, and several education videos and presentations on various safe sport topics.

Skate Canada is dedicated to safe sport and creating an inclusive environment for all our members. This policy is an advancement in Skate Canada’s goal and commitment to be the leading safe sport organization in Canada and the world.