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10-year-old trans boy disqualified from swimming gala

Joseph McCormick November 20, 2015
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A 10-year-old has been disqualified from a swimming gala after coming second in a race, because his mum says he was “outed” as trans to the judges.

The child was disqualified from the gala held at Llanelli Leisure Centre.

He raced in a boys’ race, and came second, according to the South Wales Evening Post, before being disqualified.

Depressed-Man

The mother of the boy has said she is “disappointed” at the decision, and has written to the organisers of the gala to say she believes he was disqualified because he was “outed”.

In addition, the boy’s school have written to organisers, who initially put the disqualification down to a “technical fault”.

As well as the solo race, the boy’s school team was also disqualified from a relay race.

His mum told the South Wales Evening Post: “I have no other words other than ‘disappointed’.

“I can only commend the staff at the school — they did everything they could do to protect the children.”

Organisers claimed that the disqualification was made over a full-body swimsuit.

“When you find a transgender bathing suit, let me know, and I’ll go out and buy one,” she added.

“He is not going to go into the girls’ race because he is not a girl.”

The head of inclusion at the child’s school said: “It’s important that he has the opportunity to take part and we felt it appropriate to raise it with the relevant bodies.

“From an inclusion point of view we were dissatisfied with the decision, and wish to prevent this from happening again.”

His mum says the swimming competition was his first, and it helped with his autism.

“This is a child that for the first time has felt included, so for them to disqualify him is ridiculous,” said his mum.

She said it was vastly important for him to feel included, but also take part in swimming which means he doesn’t have to be directly involved with other people to compete.

“The importance of swimming to him is massive and this was the first time he has had the confidence to enter into the water for a competition, and then this happens. I don’t care about the competition — it’s the principle.”

A spokeswoman for Urdd told the Post: “During our swimming gala the child competed in two races. In the butterfly race he was disqualified on two accounts — for wearing a ‘skin’, which is not allowed under our normal rules and also for a technical fault.

“After considering the facts, the Urdd reversed the disqualification for the ‘skin’, but can’t reverse the disqualification for the technical fault.

“The Urdd will make sure that no child faces prejudice for whatever reason, and if a change in the rules needs to be done to accommodate a particular child, we would always encourage teachers and parents to contact us in advance to discuss individual circumstances.

“The Urdd will also discuss this in future with Swim Wales.”

A spokeswoman for Swim Wales said: “As part of British Swimming, Swim Wales have adopted their transgender policy, and in light of this matter will ensure the Urdd is aware of the policy and request it is adopted/used for their swimming events.”

Related topics: competition, sports, swimming, Trans, Transgender, Wales

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