Progress is being made during preparations for the Commonwealth Games to make Gold Coast 2018 the most equal and fair Commonwealth sporting event to date
Progress is being made during preparations for the Commonwealth Games to make Gold Coast 2018 the most equal and fair Commonwealth sporting event to date.
The Commonwealth Games Federation recently ruled that New Zealand athlete Laurel Hubbard is entitled to compete in her event, despite a lobby by the Australia team to ban her from the competition.
Hubbard is transgender and previously competed in male sporting events before transitioning and continuing her career in the women’s competition.
There have been various accusations of “unfair advantages” against her, but the CGF dismissed these.
In December 2017, Hubbard finished second to a cisgender woman at the World Championships.
Weightlifting competitors are divided by weight class; Hubbard competes in the highest weight class.
She has also taken measures to reduce the amount and effects of natural testosterone in her body.
Chief Executive of the Australian Federation Mike Keelan had argued that the sport had always been gender-specific and “not a competition between individuals of various levels of testosterone”, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
In a statement, the Commonwealth Games Federation said: “The gender eligibility criteria currently applied by the IWF does not constructively discriminate against transgender athletes and as a consequence there is no moral, ethical or legal basis to prevent transgender athletes from pursuing their sporting ambitions and competing in IWF-sanctioned events.”
Meanwhile, India’s Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore announced that, for the first time, female athletes will wear trousers and a blazer at the opening ceremony, instead of the traditional sari.
The new official apparel, introduced at the request of the country’s athletes’ commission, has been praised by many female athletes, though some sportswomen have said they prefer the tradition of the sari, especially when representing India at the opening ceremony.
Male Indian athletes have typically worn blue blazers and grey trousers at major sporting events.
This year’s attire will be more unisex, though men will wear a tie and women a scarf.
Raymond, which designed the Indian contingent’s outfits for the Gold Coast, said that the women’s modern dress would be more practical.
Raymond spokesman Rohit Khanna told Agence France-Presse (AFP): “Traditional Indian costume is definitely a sari but women athletes have themselves said that wrapping a saree is a tedious thing to do.
“So, based on their feedback, we created this ensemble for the women athletes which is a white shirt, blazer and trouser with a scarf.”
Read More: Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Louise Martin has stressed the relevance of the multi-sports event in its role in championing equality, despite a reluctance by cities to host the Games