U Sports teams ready to learn how to make room for trans­gen­der ath­letes

StarMetro Edmonton - - EDMONTON - EVAN RAD­FORD STARMETRO CAL­GARY

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.

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