Increasing Inclusion at the Triathlon of Compassion
For 26 years, the Triathlon of Compassion has been a successful symbol of the power that large groups of individuals can have to affect important and lasting change. The Triathlon of Compassion, organized by Human Powered Racing in support of the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, is our largest fundraiser of the year.
Through the fundraising efforts of many people, the Triathlon has been a key way for the athletic community in Victoria to step up and support the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre in our mission to support the healing journeys of survivors of sexualized violence.
This year, the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre and Human Powered Racing are working to make the Triathlon an even more potent symbol of inclusion and acceptance. We are working to meet the needs of our local community by creating a more gender inclusive option for those for whom the gendered divisions of traditional competition are inadequate, unnecessary, or exclusive.
This means that we’ve introduced a third ‘unspecified’/’all genders’ category for folks of any gender to participate/compete. For example, this category may include anyone not wanting to register as either ‘male’ or ‘female’ for the race, or for folks who feel that the male/female division of our competition doesn’t impact the importance of their time and age bracket.
We are excited to make this change and invite all community members to participate in this fun event!
For more information about the new gender inclusive category check out this post from Human Powered Racing on the changes happening at this year’s Triathlon of Compassion.
Why this change is important
For our trans, 2Spirit, and gender diverse community members, this is a crucial change, as inclusion in sport is an ongoing issue where athletics associations and clubs generally assess performance based on one of two gendered categories.
Trans, 2Spirit, and gender diverse inclusion in all aspects of our community is very important. As a Trans inclusive organization making this change is essential. We hope that this year’s event can provide opportunities for more of our community members to get involved, and to bring awareness to the community at large that inclusion in sport matters. Although we understand there are national and international athletic bodies working on policies that are more inclusive of trans athletes, we feel that it’s not good enough to wait for policy-makers to catch-up to community needs.
Our community is composed of many people, not all of whom are cis-gender (their gender matches the sex they were assigned at birth). Everyone deserves to participate in sport without having to be policed into a gender category that they are not comfortable with. Of course, as in years past, the male and female categories will remain in place for those who wish to compete within their designated gender identity. However, the ‘unspecified’ category will allow gender diverse people as well as cis-gender people to compete while also raising money for the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre without having to ascribe to a specific gender category.
The Triathlon of Compassion is first and foremost about care and community. We are excited to develop this event in partnership with Human Powered Racing and alongside our growing community. We believe that this development will allow the Triathlon to continue to shine as a symbol of the power we have as a community to serve and care for all who live within these territories.
June 23, 2019 marks the 26th Triathlon of Compassion. The Triathlon of Compassion is a fundraising event for the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre proudly hosted by Human Powered Racing. For more information about the event and how to get involved read our blog post.