WELLINGTON, 30 July (Reuters) – Questions about trans athletes participating in women’s sports have become explosive issues in recent years and report that World Rugby may soon ban them on the grounds that security is likely to intensify debates that are already anxious in New Zealand.
A draft report by World Rugby, obtained by the media last week, said there was a “20-30% greater risk” of injury if a female player was overcome by someone who had passed puberty.
New Zealand Rugby Chief Operating Officer Nicki Nicol told reporters last week that while the direct ban had not yet been codified, the report did seek “some restrictions for some trans women”.
“We have to admit it is based on research and evidence which is one of the recommendations,” Nicol said at a conference call.
“But we are encouraged by World Rugby to make policies that are relevant to our market.”
Nicol added that the situation was “complex” and would require several months of discussion before the NZR could even formulate a policy on issues that divided opinions.
Proponents of women’s sports argue that the natural physical benefits that a transgender woman receives from going through male puberty last long into adulthood and World Rugby research proves that it is a health and safety issue in contact sports.
They also see it as a matter of justice, a key driver of competitive sports and which has big consequences at an elite level, Save Women’s Sports New Zealand spokesman Ro Edge told Reuters.
“If they are mediocre athletes in the men’s field then they meet with the women’s division and win everything, how do you feel (as a competitor)?” Edge said.
“There is no justice in that, and the desire to be inclusive is to have unintended negative consequences for women and girls, because they lose in having fair and competitive sports.”
DIVERSITY AND HEALTH
However, transgender advocates say inclusiveness must be a major factor and that stopping trans athletes from participating in women’s sports only increases the stigma and discrimination they face.
“Trans people are generally discriminated against in every aspect of life,” Aotearoa Minority national coordinator Ahi Wi-Hongi told Reuters.
“We know that a very high percentage of trans people don’t play any sport because they don’t want to deal with discrimination or they feel they won’t be allowed or they will face negative feelings about playing from other people.”
One of the main problems for sports organizations is that they may not know how many trans athletes are competing.
Nicol said the NZR did not track gender identity in their player registration but said they wanted better information.
“Hopefully as we go along we will see a reduction in marginalization,” Nicol said.
But trans women are only a small part of the potential sports athlete group, said Gender Minority Aotearoa, Wi-Hongi, and those who have transitioned usually avoid sports that feature masculinity such as rugby.
A study at Waikato University in 2019 found that only 14% of trans-people participated in regular sports competitions compared to the national average of 26% for the general population.
Edge said that biological women have been marginalized in competitive sports for decades and that the pathway for women and girls into sports must be protected.
“Participation in sports is very valuable. Diversity in sports is also very important, “Edge said. “Everyone must have the ability to participate in sports in an inclusive and friendly environment. I really understood.
“But while everyone has the ability to play sports, they don’t have the right to play in whatever category they choose. We must protect the path for women and girls in sports. (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Nick Mulvenney and Peter Rutherford)
WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand rugby players are eager to ensure the Super Rugby format in the future involves facing the best opposition because it has led to greater competition on the international stage, their union chairman said.
With travel restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 which prevented cross-border competition in the future, New Zealand Rugby has proposed a new format for their teams that does not involve teams from South Africa or Argentina.
New Zealand Rugby Players Association Chairman Rob Nichol, however, said that the NZR only addresses the fact that the border may still be closed.
“Players like the idea of traveling abroad and playing against very good opponents,” Nichol told Reuters. “But the way we use COVID, the future might look very different.
“We might still be exiled to our own borders.”
Super Rugby should return to the 14-team round robin format next year, but the NZR plan for a competition involving eight to 10 teams has been read as an organization that has abandoned the southern hemisphere SANZAAR alliance.
Nichol, however, said as far as he knew NZR remained committed to SANZAAR – a cooperative involving South Africa, Australia, Argentina and New Zealand – which organized the Super Rugby club tournament and the international Rugby Championship.
“New Zealand Rugby is not far from SANZAAR,” Nichol said. “They have just realized that they cannot have a Super 14 next year so all they do is see what they can do.”
One possibility is to play club teams from South Africa, Argentina and Japan in a crossover tournament at the end of the New Zealand Super Rugby competition, he said.
However, for that to happen, World Rugby needs to mediate agreements between national unions and European clubs that influence the global calendar, which allows them to shift the trial window until the end of the year.
The current test window is in June-July, when the northern hemisphere team travels south, and November-December, when the south travels north. The Rugby Championship is played from August to October, while the Six Nations is from February to March.
Nichol said shifting the mid-year test to the extended October-December window would allow flexibility for cross-border club competition in the southern hemisphere.
The matches made the players excited, he said, while traveling long distances and weeks away from home had helped prepare them for the intensity of the tests, which extended to the international arena and finally the Rugby World Cup.
The Southern Hemisphere team has won eight of nine global tournaments and five of six tournaments since rugby became professional in 1996.
“Super Rugby is fantastic in the southern hemisphere,” he said.
“I think that is the main reason why southern hemisphere countries are doing so well at the Rugby World Cup because they are so used to traveling to foreign environments and doing shows week after week.”
The working-class opposition emerged amid a surge in Australia’s COVID-19
By Oscar Grenfell
July 28, 2020
As the surge in death and corona virus infection in Australia continues, opposition from the working class arises for the subordination of health and safety to the demands of profits from the corporate elite.
This morning, 45 workers held an impromptu meeting outside the JBS meat factory in Brooklyn, a working class suburb in west Melbourne. They decided that they would not return to work until their safety problems were resolved.
Butchers’ operations have been prepared to begin today, after two weeks of production cuts. The company has been forced to temporarily reduce operations, after a group of infections at the facility resulted in 71 confirmed cases.
The brave strike by the workers was a blow to efforts to force them back to the factory. Social alignment and other basic preventive measures are difficult throughout the meat production industry. This termination also threatened to interfere with JBS’s plan to push the employee cohort back to work today.
Workers have set examples that will undoubtedly be followed by great interest by their colleagues in abattoirs in Victoria and nationally. In Melbourne, at least three meat works have become the sites of mass infections, while outbreaks have occurred at the Victoria regional facility in Colac near Geelong, and in Castlemaine.
Meat workers at an Australian factory (Credit: Submission of the Australian Beef Association for 2015 Senate Questions)
In an indication of a broader rejection of the negligent official response to the pandemic, the Federation of Australian School Heads issued a request yesterday to immediately end class teaching and return to online learning “for all students on the Melbourne metro and Mitchell Shire. “
The call was made after ten other schools were forced to close in Melbourne on Monday, following the detection of COVID-19 cases among students and educators. At least 58 schools have been closed for one and a half weeks since the Victorian state government reinstated direct teaching at the start of Term Three.
The closure has revealed claims of lying by governments across the country that the danger posed by the corona virus stops at the school gates. In fact, medical experts now almost agree that older groups of students who have returned to Victorian schools tend to be infected and transmit diseases as well as other demographics.
Julie Podbury, president of the Federation of Australian School Principals, told Age that Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services responded to a wave of school infections that had been “very bad.” Its members are left “waiting for days” to get information about contact tracing and closure after the case is confirmed.
The School Principal’s Statement was even more shocking, given that the organization had done nothing to oppose the reopening of a dangerous school. Like the Australian Education Union, Australia has collaborated closely with the government and has opposed any mobilization of educators in defending their basic rights, including health and safety.
That the federation has now spoken reveals the scale of the crisis in schools and a wave of anger among teachers, principals, and parents.
A growing opposition is an indictment of state and federal governments that have created conditions for the rise of COVID-19 by prematurely lifting restrictions on orders from corporations and financial elites.
In Victoria, this is two and a half weeks since the Labor government implemented limited locking in Melbourne, because the transmission was out of control. After more than 14 days, the estimated time period for COVID-19 incubation, it is clear that the restrictions failed to stop the increase in the number of cases.
As JBS meat workers’ actions and anger among the teachers made it clear, “locking” was a hoax. This limits individual movements and social gatherings, violations which can be punished with large fines, but does not affect the operation of most large businesses and schools.
Victoria’s Premier Labor Party Daniel Andrews responded to the demands of the principals with insults that were barely hidden. School closures “will not be a proportional response” to dozens of underage children and teachers who contract deadly diseases, Andrews said.
Teachers “do extraordinary work,” the prime minister said, and “focus” must be in the “deep cleaning” schools where cases arise. In other words, the Labor government states that educators, parents and children will continue to be infected.
As industry professionals have noted, further, “deep cleaning,” while conjuring up images of suits and hazmat equipment worthy of the episode “Crime Scene Investigation,” is a mythical concept when it comes to school. On the ground, cleaning workers are low-paid freelancers who have complained during the pandemic that they are not given time to clean properly, nor do they have suitable cleaning products or enough gloves, sanitizers and other basic cleaning products.
The government’s determination to keep schools open, which contradicts science and public health, flows from the same corporate considerations that underpin the entire “economic reopening.” Having students in the classroom is seen as an important prerequisite for forcing their parents back to their workplaces, so that profits can be pumped from their workforce.
For the same reason, workplace closures are not even for discussion, despite the fact that they have reached 80 percent of infections since May.
Conversely, ordinary people are blamed. Without showing little evidence, Andrews has stated that the spread is the result of workers who go to their jobs when they have mild symptoms. Even when he was forced to admit, so far this had happened, it was the result of the casualization of the workforce and the fact that most people could not afford to miss even one shift.
The official response has been disastrous. Every day there is a warning that Victoria hospitals can be overwhelmed, with hundreds of doctors and nurses already infected. There are more than 81 elderly care facilities in the state with confirmed cases, which means that the number of deaths will increase rapidly in the coming days.
The scale of the crisis was emphasized by the announcement of 532 Victorian infections, the largest number since the pandemic began. Six more deaths were reported, after ten on Sunday.
But Andrews and the Victoria health authority stated that they were “very confident” that the height of the infection had been reached. Today’s calculation of 384 cases was welcomed as a reduction in yesterday’s numbers.
This continues the mime that has been played for the past month. Daily record increases have repeatedly been described as “peaks,” only to be surpassed a few days later, while a slightly lower calculation is stated as evidence of progress.
For weeks, authorities have suggested that the rate of reproduction of the virus is stable or decreased, even though the number of infections is increasing. No serious effort has been made to explain this arithmetic anomaly.
Panglossian optimism is an exercise in public fraud. Every day, most cases are reported “being investigated,” which means that the authorities do not know about the source of the infection. Further testing was limited to those without symptoms, and six months after the crisis, the country lacked the hundreds of contact traces needed.
The real situation is shown by public health expert Dr. Norman Swan. On the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “7:30” program last night, he reviewed international research which showed that for each confirmed case, there were often between five and ten that were not detected. In other words, it is possible that thousands of people contract the virus in Victoria every day.
The official attitude is aimed at stopping calls for more stringent locking actions that will impact the business.
This morning, Associate Professor Julian Rait, president of the Victoria branch of the Australian Medical Association, refuted claims that the existing locking had “leveled the curve.” He advocated a “new model” that would involve closing down “almost all businesses other than pharmacies, medical clinics, grocery stores, gas stations” and reducing retail spending.
Rait called for efforts to eradicate community transmission, a strategy that had been rejected by all governments because the “costs” would be too great. In New South Wales, where daily infections are consistently in double digits, after the transmission of the virus locally was eliminated last month, the Liberal government has ruled out limited locking measures.
The experience of the past six months shows that implementing the measures requested by science and medical experts requires the political mobilization of the working class. This can only progress through a rebellion against the union, which functions as a police force of the corporate and government industries.
Butchers must form a ranking committee, which is entirely independent of the union. These will be tasked with enforcing safety measures, severing the isolation carried out by trade unions and shifting to other parts of the working class.
Above all, the crisis has shown that the defense of workers’ social rights does not correspond to private ownership of community resources. Meat work, together with banks and large companies, must be placed under public ownership and democratic workers’ control. That means the struggle for workers’ government and socialism.
Costa Rica will open its air border for tourists from the European Union, Britain and Canada, starting this August 1. This was reported by the new Minister of Tourism, Gustavo Segura, in an official announcement which also stated the continued exclusion of travelers from the United States, the main source of tourists for our country, but currently suffering from the biggest onslaught of the Coronavirus novel in the World.
According to the Minister, the reopening will be ‘gradual’ and, in practice, that means restarting operations with five flights per week, by taking reference requests made by airlines to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC).
Segura asserted that the country would take steps ‘very gradually and highly analyzed’ to revitalize the tourism sector, but stressed that any decision taken would be very careful, so as not to further jeopardize the country’s difficult health situation. ‘As you can see, it is a very dim hole, very shy, but it allows us to practice it all the protocol . These are only a few tourists per week, but this is a step in the right direction, ‘he said.
Segura pointed out that the first reopening announcement was only a ‘drop of hope’ for more than 600,000 Costa Rican citizens who depend directly or indirectly on tourism, amid a context that calls for a wider reopening of the border in ‘the coming months’. On improving the permitted routes in the following weeks, he only commented that it would depend on ‘permanent and coordinated analysis, which depends on many factors.’
Segura made no secret that the decision to reopen operations was complicated during the pandemic; However, he stressed that this was a well-planned learning process amid extraordinary and unusual contexts.
“This decision is not simple, they are coordinated between various institutions, and analyze various factors. We all learn to manage Pandemic because this is new
for everyone, public and private administrators, because you have to make very careful decisions. ‘
Costa Rica will open its air border after more than four and a half months. This country has been closed since March 16, when President Carlos Alvarado issued a national ‘state of emergency’, due to the first recorded infection from SARS-CoV-2.
On July 20, the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, has indicated that the reopening date is scheduled for August 1, although he stressed that any decision made to raise or lower the relevant limits will depend on the national situation and of each country considered. as a provider of tourists who is likely to avoid more infections and medical requirements.
“We know that giving permission when there is a total lack of control over the Virus, and with the increasing number of cases, requires great attention to avoid the possibility of more people becoming ill,” Segura said.
President Carlos Alvarado promised that the country would conduct an orderly reopening, following the strictest protocol possible. “The recovery of the tourism sector will be achieved with caution and with strict sanitation protocols, always with the highest confidence to ensure the health and lives of all people.”
To enter the country, each traveler must undergo a test for the Coronavirus novel at least 48 hours before arriving in the country. And that should give negative results. Likewise, tourists must have completed the form of digital epidemiology issued by Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), which will be activated in various languages, visitors must also purchase travel insurance that includes accommodation in the case of quarantine and possible medical costs for acute illness.
Resonance has been created to unite the community of digital travelers, entrepreneurs, innovators, guardians of wisdom, alternative thinkers, mentors and light leaders from all over the planet to bridge the gap between demanding work and live a lifestyle that offers opportunities to live and work in a nutritious and supportive environment .
WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Australian sides will be a welcome addition to the trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition if only to give the New Zealand teams a break from beating each other every week, said Wellington Hurricanes assistant coach Cory Jane.
New Zealand Rugby (NZR) is looking to form a new Super Rugby competition from 2021 involving five of its teams, the Pacific Islands team and two to four teams from Australia.
Jane said the current Aotearoa Super Rugby competition, which was made for the New Zealand team after the wider Super Rugby season was stopped in March, proved to be very physical because every match was a local derby and the All Blacks places were on the line.
“Obviously Super Rugby is where we are right now and people like it,” Jane told reporters on Monday. “But you ask most teams throughout New Zealand and they will say their players are sick.
“Adding several teams to the competition is a must. You can’t make the New Zealand team go around and beat each other.
“(If we) play each other three or four times … there won’t be too many runs at the end of the competition.”
Jane added that Australian teams would not give up.
“When you get a good Brumbies or Waratah team, or a Reds team that is physical and likes you, it’s hard to play it,” he said.
“It would be better to have it in this competition next year.”
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford
WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand has been confirmed as the preferred host of the centralized Rugby Championship later this year, awaiting government approval, the governing body of SANZAAR said on Thursday.
SANZAAR has been working on a hub that holds all the games in the annual southern hemisphere competition due to the new coronavirus outbreak, even though Australia has been reported as the most likely place.
Both Australia and New Zealand had significant success at first slowing the spread of the virus and have restarted professional sports competitions, although concerns have increased over new outbreaks in the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales.
New Zealand, however, has virtually eliminated the corona virus in the country, with 27 cases currently all from residents returning to quarantine facilities.
“We have determined that New Zealand is currently the preferred option given the stability of COVID in the region,” SANZAAR said in a statement.
“SANZAAR is very advanced in planning options with Rugby New Zealand, which in turn, is now seeking the approval of the New Zealand Government.”
There is no confirmation date.
The New Zealand border is still closed to anyone except citizens or permanent residents, but exceptions have been given to important workers and to allow the American Cup team to start arriving in the country for the regatta next year.
All national rugby teams from South Africa, Australia and Argentina, must complete a 14-day quarantine period upon arrival in New Zealand.
SANZAAR added that it was trying to give Argentine players “some meaningful match preparation” in front of the Rugby Championship.
Argentine players have been unemployed since mid-March, when Super Rugby was closed.
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Stephen Coates
All Blacks coach Ian Foster has suggested that Australia is not entitled to the same rights in the potential trans-Tasman rugby unity competition, saying there is no room for non-competitive teams.
Ian Foster questioned whether Australia had the depth of players and financial strength to bring down more than two or three teams
Australian Rugby does not want to reduce the number of its teams in potential trans-Tasman competitions
NZ Rugby is expected to propose a competition model this week
Foster is the latest leading rugby figure to add to his voice in the debate about what the trans-Tasman provincial competition will be next season.
Findings from the NZ Rugby review into the structure of the competition in the future will be made public on Thursday, with recommendations expected to feature the five New Zealand franchises in an eight-team competition.
Only two or three Australian teams might be in the preferred model, with the Pacific Islands team being introduced.
Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen urged New Zealand to be strong in their negotiations with Australia about the future of Super Rugby.
Super Rugby was stopped in March because the COVID-19 pandemic and the future of the southern hemisphere competition are being discussed.
Earlier this week, Australian Rugby (RA) chairman Hamish McLennan said their counterparts in New Zealand were trying to dictate possible trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition requirements, amid reports the NZR was trying to limit the number of Australian teams involved.
Hansen said he felt that New Zealand Rugby must do the best for their rugby players and insisted that they were indebted to Australia.
“Without controversy, we have been guarding Aussies for years,” Hansen told Stuff Media on Sunday.
“And every time we need something from them, especially at a high level, sometimes they disappear.
“Do we owe them something? No. But because we are our nation, and we care more about the game than ourselves, we bend and bend a little.
“I think NZ Rugby is in the mood to have a strong discussion because they only get one chance for that.”
Much of its impact centered on the composition of the Super Rugby of 2021, with both countries reportedly interested in exploring the trans-Tasman competition rather than returning to tournaments involving teams from South Africa and Argentina.
McLennan told Australian media this week that a leaked report stated that the preferred option by NZR was to have only two or three Australian parties in the trans-Tasman competition.
Hansen said what was most important was not to dilute the New Zealand team with more than five teams and to minimize travel for the welfare of the players.
“You have to start with what you want from him? Instead of, ‘OK, we will hold this competition,'” Hansen said.
“It must be truly competitive and produce world-class players. If you let it be facilitated, there is too big a gap between Super Rugby and the rugby test.”