Effective September 1st, the following categories will be applied at all Swim England competitions, including those organized by the body’s member regions, counties and clubs:
- Female – athletes with a birth sex of female
- Open – athletes with a birth sex of male, trans or non-binary competitors and any competitor not eligible for the female category
The new delineation marks the first time Swim England’s competition policy has been updated since 2015. The organization says the categories were introduced ‘in a bid to create a fully-inclusive, non-discriminatory competitive environment.’
Further, Swim England believes that ‘the restriction of certain competition to birth sex females to be justified and proportionate in the pursuit of fair competition.’
“However, we believe we have created an inclusive competitive environment that will provide opportunities and enjoyment for everyone entering Swim England events.
“As a result of the strength of feeling displayed via our independent consultation, we recognise that fair competition is considered the backbone of our aquatic sports and therefore must be prioritised.
“This is a policy that will allow for inclusion up to the highest level possible, at which point competitive integrity across our events and talent pathways takes priority.”
SwimSwam asked Swim England where intersex athletes fall in the revised policy. “Our updated policy refers to the birth sex of transgender and non-binary participants only,” the organization responded.