The International Sport Fishing Confederation, known as the Confédération Internationale de la Pêche Sportive (CIPS), recently prohibited transgender women from participating in particular women’s fishing events. This decision was reported by the Telegraph as “absolutely discriminatory.”
Emma Harriet Nicholson, a member of the UK House of Lords, was informed of this decision through a letter from the confederation. CIPS president, Prof. Ugo Claudio Matteoli, mentioned in the letter that after deliberations in Rome on transgender athletes’ participation in women’s competitions, they deemed it discriminatory, especially in disciplines where physical strength plays a significant role.
Matteoli explained that since CIPS cannot measure the testosterone levels of athletes at every competition, the decision was made to restrict transgender women from competing in specific women’s events. Verifying participants’ birth certificates might be mandatory in cases where there’s ambiguity about the competitor’s sex, particularly in events where physical strength could be advantageous.
The new ruling will affect competitions such as the long casting of sea weights, shore angling, carp fishing, and fly fishing.
This decision came a week after England’s women’s team opted out of the Shore Angling World Championship in Sicily because Becky Lee Birtwhistle Hodges, a transgender woman and former rugby player, was chosen to be part of the team. Hodges, who transitioned from male to female, has been noted for casting distances much farther than many female competitors.
Previously, a six-member crew team had also chosen not to compete after Hodges was included.
Heather, a team member, shared with the Daily Mail that while Hodges would be valuable to the team, it feels inequitable for others. Winning under such circumstances would feel unearned, she remarked.
The team’s captain felt disheartened when they secured a bronze medal at the 2018 World Championships with Hodges as a team member.
Fiona McAnens, from Fair Play For Women, applauded the women for their stance, emphasizing the importance of fair competition for all women and recognizing the bravery of the team’s decision.