‘Misleading and unclear’: England Netball survey criticised by inclusive clubs in open letter

Over 250 signatories so far on letter raising concerns over consultation process undertaken by national governing body on its proposed new trans and non-binary inclusion policy; London-based Queerballers and six other clubs in England among those urging England Netball to listen to sport’s LGBTQ+ community…

By Jon Holmes

Queerballers took part in the Pride in London parade at the start of July

A group of LGBTQ+-inclusive clubs has published an open letter to England Netball, voicing serious concerns over a survey recently issued by the national governing body in connection with a review of its trans and non-binary inclusion policy.

In the letter, the group – which is led by London’s Queerballers – says the questions in the consultation survey issued to nearly 100,000 England Netball members were “misleading and unclear”.

Sports Media LGBT+ understands the survey closed on July 10, with a new gender policy expected to be published by England Netball later this year.

Queerballers and the other signatories of the open letter have asked England Netball to amend the questions and re-issue the survey following dialogue with the LGBTQ+ community in the sport.

Another recommendation made to the governing body in the letter is for a clearer definition of what constitutes “competitive netball” so that local and social leagues can be distinguished from the elite and professional levels of the game.

Explaining the background to the letter, a spokesperson for Queerballers told Sports Media LGBT+: “We have come together as a coalition of grassroots netball teams, netball players and sportspeople to express our concern in how this consultation has been carried out and show our commitment to the inclusion of transgender and non-binary people in netball.

“Our open letter to England Netball calls on the governing body to make changes to their consultation process to ensure trans and non-binary voices are heard, and provide reassurances on how any changes to the gender policy will live up to England Netball’s commitments to diversity and inclusion.”

Queerballers are one of seven netball teams in England to have signed the open letter so far, alongside other London clubs Block It Like It’s Hot, Dragons, Playnetball.com, Troy Netball Club, and Unicorns LGBTQIA+ Netball Club.

Bristol’s Easton Cowgirls and Brighton’s Dragons are also in the group, while support is also being sought from other sports clubs as well as LGBTQ+ organisations and individual signatories. There are currently around 250 signatures in total.

England Netball have been contacted for comment.

See the letter in full below – open the document in a new tab.

To apply to have your signature added to the letter, use the Google Form here.

Follow Queerballers on Instagram.

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