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Trans athletes take center stage in new BBC special

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova looks to open the debate about transgender athletes in an upcoming special for the BBC. Earlier this year, Navratilova called for a discussion about male to female ...
May 23, 2019

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova looks to open the debate about transgender athletes in an upcoming special for the BBC.

Earlier this year, Navratilova called for a discussion about male to female transgender athletes competing in women’s sports, triggering a heated and passionate debate around the world. In Trans Athletes: A Fair Playing Field? the tennis champion sets out to find answers to some of her own questions by meeting a range of athletes, scientists and sporting officials to unpack why the subject is so controversial

Navratilova travels to Loughborough University to meet with Dr. Gemma Whitcomb and Dr. Emma O’Donnell who are leading the sports science research into transgender athletes and have a team solely dedicated to looking at the issues around gender and fair participation in sport.

The film also includes contributions and opinions from medical experts and sporting bodies, in addition to voices from elite female athletes like Sharron Davies, who has spoken out about the issue.

The program was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, director of content, and Emma Loach, commissioning editor for BBC Documentaries. The project will be executive produced by Emma Hindley, creative director for Brook Lapping.

“I hope that this documentary enables everybody to be more knowledgeable about the overall transgender and sport debate and hopefully brings us closer to a solution that makes as many people as possible happy,” said Navratilova in a statement.

Trans Athletes: A Fair Playing Field? will bow on BBC1 at the end of June.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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