Tuesday 28 November 2023

‘Hands Like Shovels’: Angling Bars Trans Competitors Following Uproar From Women’s Team

 Fishing has announced biologically male players who transitioned after puberty must compete in the open category in sporting events, according to Angling Trust, the governing body for fishing in England.

Half of England’s female fishing team dropped out of the team after Becky Lee Birtwhistle Hodges, who is male, was selected to compete with them. Hodges was said to have “hands like shovels” and had previously competed in rugby, Daily Mail reported in June

“Growing female participation is a core focus for the organisation and an area in which we have seen great success in recent years,” Angling Trust CEO Jamie Cook said. “Ensuring the integrity of the female category across all disciplines of angling will remove potential barriers and ensure clear pathways for participation growth to lead to domestic and international success.”

“Having discussed this matter with other sports governing bodies who are building new universal (open) categories we are well advanced in this respect, and we are confident that our revised policy offers opportunities for all to compete fairly and safely in one of England’s largest participation sports.”

The updated policy affirms the sport welcomes the inclusion of transgender participants as long as it does not conflict with “fair competition.” The governing body said in reviewing previous policy on transgender participants, it determined, “strength has the ability to impact fairness within angling competitions.”

The body’s current position on the matter is such that, “both sex and gender are taken into account,” and non-binary competitors must compete in the category correlating to their biological sex. Both biological men who choose to present as female and biological women who choose to present as male may not participate in female-only categories.

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