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Northern Ireland Sport and Human Rights Forum on Gender Identity a Winner

04 Feb 2022

A record number of participants from sport governing bodies, charities, policy makers and community groups attended the latest meeting of the Northern Ireland Sport and Human Rights Forum, which focused on gender identity and sport.

Keynote speaker Simon Croft from Gendered Intelligence informed all the participants around the current context relating to gender identity and sport, whilst highlighting best practice when it comes to transgender inclusion in sport.

Thays Prado from the Centre for Sport and Human Rights was able to highlight work from her organisation and others, providing a human rights approach to the topic.

The Forum heard powerful personal experiences from US transgender athlete and advocate Chris Mosier; along with local perspectives from transgender advocate and former athlete and coach Frances Shiels; as well as intersex advocate and long-distance running coach Dr Sarah Haveron.

Dr David Russell, CEO of the NIHRC said:

“There was a great turnout for the meeting and a safe space was created to discuss important gender identity and sport issues. The engagement from the sport sector here was superb and this is a great example of why we set this Forum up. Members of the Forum asked for us to explore this topic we were delighted to have world class speakers joining to share their knowledge and experience. There was much food for thought for all of us about how we build on today to make sports here more inclusive. To have the international and local perspectives from the speakers has led to a lot of shared learning which was really valuable.”



  • The Northern Ireland Sport & Human Rights Forum was established in May 2019. The Forum has been established as a multi-stakeholder platform to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and good practice on sport and human rights issues.
  • The Chair of the NI Sport and Human Rights forum is Conal Heatley, Business and Operations Manager at Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland.
  • The NI Sport and Human Rights Forum meets four times a year and builds on the Declaration of Sport and Human Rights, empowering shared learning in the area of sport and human rights. For more information about the Forum please contact
  • The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory body first proposed in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement (1998) and established in 1999 by the Northern Ireland Act (1998). It is answerable to Parliament at Westminster.
  • Chris Mosier, a ground-breaking transgender athlete who became the first trans man to compete in a Men's Olympic Trials competition. He is a 6x member of Team USA, a 2x Men's National Champion, and All-American athlete fighting for the rights of trans & non-binary people in sports.
  • Simon Croft, a Director of the charity Gendered Intelligence who leads on training and consultancy with more than 25yrs experience.
  • Thays Prado, Gender Advisor for the Centre for Sport and Human Rights with more than 15yrs experience championing gender equality on world stage.
  • Frances Shiels, a NI transgender advocate and former athlete with experience as a coach and administrator.
  • Dr Sarah Haveron, Intersex advocate and long distance running coach, who has lectured on various aspects of sport all over the world.
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