U Sports teams ready to learn how to make room for transgender athletes
bers seeing straight players on one side of the room and LGBTQ players on the other.
The longtime coach of the University of Alberta Pandas women’s hockey team to find some way to bridge the literal and cultural gap among his squad during that 2000-01 hockey season.
“There was a demarcation line drawn right down the middle of the dressing room,” Draper recalled.
Now Canada’s governing body for university sports, U Sports, has ruled transgender athletes can compete with athletes that keep their assigned gender at birth. An athlete still has to comply with the Canadian Anti-Doping Program, and “may only compete on sport teams of one gender during a given academic year,” a U Sports press release explaining the policy said.
Draper says that those early-2000s Pandas teams had psychologist-led discussions that brought them together.
“We’re all unique, but we all want the same thing,” the coach said.