Linda Blade on why sex-segregated sport matters

As sports bodies and organizations around the world have begun to adopt policies allowing males who identify as transgender to compete against and among female athletes, people have begun to speak out. Female athletes are particularly concerned.

Notably Martina Navratilova, one of the greatest female tennis players of all time, called this practice “unfair” and a form of “cheating.” Sharron Davies — a two-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist and Olympic silver medalist in swimming — has also called to “protect women’s sport,” arguing that those with a “male sex advantage” should not be allowed to compete in women’s sport.

In order to learn more about the reasons behind sex-segregated sport, why women’s sport matters, and how male and female bodies differ, in terms of physical strength, build, and athletic ability, I spoke with Linda Blade.

Linda is a former Canadian Champion and NCAA All American in the heptathlon (a track and field combined events contest made up of seven events). She has a PhD in Kinesiology from Simon Fraser University and Chartered Professional Coach designation in track and field. Linda has spent the past 25 years working as Sport Performance Professional, designing and implementing training programs for athletes in over 15 sports. She is also the President of Athletics Alberta (the not-for-profit sport governing body for Athletics for the Province of Alberta) and is currently drafting a Transgender Athlete Policy for the organization. Follow her on Twitter @coachblade.

Linda Blade on why sex-segregated sport matters
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist from Vancouver, BC. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, Quillette, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and is now exiled in Mexico with her very photogenic dog.