GENDER self-identification risks women and girls being denied “fair and safe” competition in grassroots sport, a report warns.
Ministers are facing growing pressure from campaigners to only allow biological females at all levels of sport.
Olympic swimming star Sharron Davies has led calls for stricter rules on participation in female sport[/caption]
The probe by think tank Policy Exchange supports that and is recommending to the government that it require all national sporting bodies to ensure there is a female single-sex category.
It also calls for taxpayer funding to be withdrawn from parkrun events in the UK if they do not update course records to reflect biological sex, rather than by gender ID.
Policy Exchange’s Level the Playing Field study said three parkrun female records are currently held by males.
The report warns that as the vast majority of athletes are not professional it is an issue likely to impact amateur events — which could hurt female participation if not dealt with.
Swimmer Sharron, 61, who won a silver medal at the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games, said: “Every sport, at every level, from grassroots to elite, must ensure that the female category is ringfenced for biological females.
Martina, 67, who won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, said: “Female sport must be protected otherwise we risk not only alienating a generation of women, but also taking away dreams and possibilities of fairness and winning for girls and women.”
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said self-ID could not “be reconciled with competitive fairness in every sport”.
She explained: “Sport must be open to everyone and we are working closely with national governing bodies on a way forward that is compassionate for all, whilst maintaining the integrity of competition.”