Skate Canada has moved to enhance its safe sport programme with the addition of a Trans Inclusion Policy.
The policy was approved by the Board of Directors in 2018 and has now been implemented across the entire membership.
"At Skate Canada we pride ourselves on being able to provide a safe and fun environment for participants and the development of the Trans Inclusion Policy will ensure all members in our community have an inclusive space to enjoy skating at every level," Skate Canada President Leanna Caron said.
"Skate Canada is committed to bringing our vision of inspiring all Canadians to embrace the joy of skating to life through investing in programmes that seek to promote, celebrate and recognise diversity."
The Trans Inclusion Policy, accessible here, aims to ensure Skate Canada has a diverse and inclusive, barrier-free environment where every employee, Board member, skater, official, coach, volunteer and affiliate organisation of the national governing body feels valued, respected and supported.
As a result, the organisation says it 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.
In competitions under Skate Canada jurisdiction, athletes can participate in the gender category in which they identify.
The body claims 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 and/or any major national or international Games organisation regarding transgender athlete participation will supersede the eligibility guidelines outlined in the Trans Inclusion Policy.
The Trans Inclusion Policy is one part of Skate Canada’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQI2S) inclusion strategy and part of the overall safe sport framework.
In the past year, Skate Canada has continued to develop and advance safe sport practices across its community.
Several safe sport initiatives have recently 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’s Trans Inclusion Policy was developed with input from members of the LGBTQI2S community as well as inclusive sport advocates," said Dr William Bridel, assistant professor at the University of Calgary.
"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.
"I hope that other organisations 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."
Skate Canada says it is dedicated to safe sport and creating an inclusive environment for all our members.
Several programmes are planned for roll-out in the coming years based on its Safe Sport Framework.
The Trans Inclusion Policy is an advancement in Skate Canada's goal and commitment to be the leading safe sport organisation in the country and the world.