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Croquet player becomes first out trans woman to win world championship in any sport

Croquet Set
Photo: Shutterstock

23-year-old Jamie Gumbrell has become the first out trans woman to win the women’s World Croquet Federation Championship. In the August competition, Gumbrell beat 55 other women from 16 different countries. The Australian ultimately won the championship against Rachel Gee from England.

But Gumbrell’s victory is bigger than Croquet, according to The Messenger. In fact, she is now the first out trans woman to win a world championship in any sport.

“Jamie’s performance was extraordinary – so consistent and skillful,” player Kate McLoughlin told the City News. “It is a great example of the high-quality competitive croquet we aspire to, and a pleasure to be there to see!” 

The World Croquet Federation updated its policies for transgender players in 2022, which allowed Gumbrell, who transitioned during the pandemic, to compete in the women’s competition.

The organization’s website states that after reviewing the framework published in 2021 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), it decided that “the principles of inclusion, preventing harm and non-discrimination, as defined by the IOC framework, are suitable for croquet.”

The organization’s Eligibility Criteria focuses on wholehearted inclusivity and does not appear to require players to test for specific hormone levels. It simply states: “Any player wishing to compete in a WCF Event should only apply for events that are open to all genders or that are intended for the gender identity that they persistently and consistently use. If the MC feel that there is any uncertainty with respect to an individuals’ gender identity, they may require the individual submit a statement or evidence to support their entry.”

Gumbrell was one of the youngest players in the tournament, which is held once every four years. She is also the second-ever Australian woman to win, according to the Canberra Times.

“It was an amazing experience just to be part of,” Gumbrell added, “but to come out from the competition having just won feels surreal.”

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