Page 5 - Touchline No.35
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 In October last year, World Rugby became  is probably no one correct answer so it
 the first international sports federation to   is likely that individual sports will have to   SPORTSCOVER – 35 YEARS OF SPORT
 say transgender women cannot compete   develop their own solution as a ‘one size
 at the elite and international level of the   fits all’ approach will not work.  WHAT A JOURNEY!
 women’s game “on safety grounds”.
 “In order to survive and thrive in the
 So the new guidance is suggesting that,   future, sport must adapt to reflect modern
 for example, contact, collision and combat  society, and that often, it is too slow to
 sports which choose to prioritise safety   do so,” the guidance says. As with all
 - or sports based on strength, stamina   organisations and industries, change or
 or physique which choose to prioritise   die is the catch phrase.
 “competitive fairness” - could create
 extra “universal admission” categories for   So at least now the issue is being
 transgender athletes.  debated more fully at national peak
 sport body level – and that is a welcome
 The guidance has not been universally   development. But the debate now needs
 welcomed, particularly by associations   to be taken up by individual sports to   To coincide with Sportcover’s 35th anniversary, Touchline wishes to dedicate its 35th
 representing the LBGTQ+ community, but   decide how they can make their sport   edition to the past three and a half decades. Plenty has changed since Sportcover
 it is at least providing some direction as to  inclusive, yet fair and safe.    was established in 1986, including innovations by Sportscover (see inset), but when it
 how the issue can be taken forward. There   comes to sport, some things stay very much the same. The world’s attention is almost
            always focused towards the excitement being generated by our greatest athletes.

            Where We Came From: 1986                          Meanwhile, boxing continued to have
            As much as a single year can be a hinge-          global heft, unlike today. On November
            point, 1986 certainly feels like a period         22nd, a 20-year-old Mike Tyson became
            when everything was about to change.              the youngest ever heavy-weight champion
            Some of the men and women who went                when he defeated Trevor Brebick to usher
            from being sporting heroes to become              in a ferocious, scandal-ridden career which
            icons were unleashed onto the world stage         gave boxing its biggest star name since
            in that year, while others faded away.            Mohammad Ali.

            Back in 1986, sport was still event-driven        Over in Australia, the times were changing
            and the cult of the individual had not            slowly as well. Winning The Ashes had
            yet arisen. Take, for example, basketball.        become a staple for the English Test
            The Boston Celtics won a then record 82           Cricket team since the late ‘70s, and the
            games, which had many claiming they               1986-87 Series was no different. Mike
            were the greatest team of all time. Larry         Gatting’s team came ‘Down under’ and
            Bird was the competition’s MVP, but over in       came away with a 2-1 series win, a loss
            Chicago, something was brewing. Michael           which flattered the home team. Merv
 In order to survive and thrive   Jordan did not exactly explode onto the   Hughes got carted, with Ian Botham
 in the future, sport must adapt   scene - everyone knew he was ascending   dazzling. But there were green shoots
                                                              emerging for Australia. Allan Border’s win-
 to reflect modern society, and   - but soon he would supernova, taking the   at-all-cost methodology was slowly taking
            whole concept of what it meant to be a
 that often, it is too slow to do   sporting icon and tailoring it to his image.   hold, and with Steve Waugh, David Boon

 so,” the guidance says. As with   It is hard to imagine the mega-endorsed   and Dean Jones coalescing, the Golden
                                                              Era of Australian test cricket would begin
 all organisations and industries,   player of today without the golden touch   in three short years with their famous 1989
            that Jordan brought with him.
 change or die is the catch phrase.                           victory in England.

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