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Open letter calls for British Cycling to go further in new gender participation policy

Will Strickson
20 Apr 2021

London-based club Velociposse says proposals exclude trans and non-binary people and calls for collaboration with trans-led organisations

An open letter has called for British Cycling to do more to support trans and non-binary members in its gender participation policy proposals.

Velociposse, a London-based club for women and non-binary cyclists, has raised concerns that current policy, consultation for which ends on Friday 30th April, excludes trans and non-binary people and asks British Cycling to work with trans-led organisations to get it right.

The club takes issue with the requirement of trans women to test their testosterone levels in order to race, questioning the scientific basis for the policy, and states concerns over lack of inclusion for non-binary people as well as with the organisation British Cycling has chosen to consult with.

Velociposse has called on British Cycling to: immediately include 'non-binary' as a category for non-racing membership; consult with trans and non-binary led organisations to remove barriers to participation within six months; ensure that all people are able to race under their self-identified gender within the year.

Chair of Velociposse Biola Babawale said, 'A participation policy should encourage participation and aim to get as many trans and non-binary people cycling as possible, this policy does the opposite, and instead feeds into the exclusion of trans people in sports.

'By targeting only trans people to provide such in-depth personal information British Cycling's new policy is discriminatory and scientifically questionable. British Cycling urgently needs to speak with trans members and trans-led organisations on widening participation in order to encourage all people to cycling, as they claim to do.'

With the announcement of the first iteration of the policy in October, former pro Philippa York praised the steps being taken but stated that 'the work doesn't end here' and that 'as scientific and social issues involved become better understood the policy will be updated'.

In response to the letter, a British Cycling spokesperson said:

'British Cycling is fully committed to embedding equality into all areas of its work to ensure that cycling is a supportive and welcoming place for all. Published in October 2020, our Transgender and Non-binary Participation Policy illustrates the requirements of enabling participation and creating an open and inclusive environment at all levels of the sport.

'As part of the development of the policy we committed to reviewing it on a regular basis to reflect any relevant changes in legislation and guidance. Our current five-week consultation on changes to the policy closes on Friday 30 April and is open to anyone to respond.

'We are committed to working with a range of stakeholders and groups as this area of sports governance continues to evolve.'

For more information on Velociposse visit velociposse.cc

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