SGS research presented at the CSIT ordinary congress

The SGS research presented at the 45th CSIT Ordinary Congress

The SGS team visited the 45th CSIT Ordinary Congress and the International Amateur Sports Forum, which took place from the 8th to 10th of November in the building of University of Physical Education in Barcelona.

The EU co-funded project SGS – Sport for all Genders and Sexualities, started in 2022, aims to promote an inclusive sports culture for all persons regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity in European grassroot sports, had reached another big milestone.

As a part of World Amateur Sports Forum, all partners had a chance to introduce the project to all the Forum participants and spread the word about the project’s mission to a wide audience fostering more inclusive grassroots sports. 


Partners presented SGS project activities 

The presentation opened with the introduction to the concept of equality for all genders and sexualities, main notions and current struggles faced, presented by Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation, the project coordinator, followed by the research on the situation of women and LGBT+ individuals in organised grassroots sports across Europe, carried out by German Sport University Cologne. The research findings provided an in-depth understanding of the status quo as of today from the perspectives of athletes, coaches, board members and volunteers. In addition to this, the project partners presented the report of best practices on implementation of gender and sexual equality measures within the framework of grassroots sports.

The SGS campaign presented by the Outsport Network

Last, but not least, the promotional campaign “Rising Together” and testimonials, presented by representatives of AiCS and Outsport Network Rosario Coco and Andrea Giuliano, as well as the first results of the Regional Working Groups and the importance of collaborative brainstorming within working groups in the partner countries, presented by the Landessportbund Nordrhein-Westfallen

The presentation wrapped up with an open discussion with the audience, as well as comments and thoughts on how gender and sexual equality is tackled in other grassroots sports organisations and what the main challenges are or could be.


EU Project SGS presents the Research on the situation of women and LGBT+ individuals in European grassroots sports

The scientific research in the framework of the SGS project with the main focus on providing insights into the situation of women and LGBT+ individuals in organized grassroots sports across Europe was Th German Sports University. 

Aim of the Research

The primary goal of the research was to identify and understand the prevailing gender norms and stereotypes in organized sports and their impact on the discrimination and exclusion of girls, women, and LGBT+ individuals in grassroots sports. 

The research engaged a diverse group of 2,832 respondents involved in organized grassroots sports, including athletes, coaches, board members, and volunteers. The sample of this study includes respondents from Germany, Austria, Spain, United Kingdom and Italy. The participants also reflect the diversity of European sports, with a range of sexual orientations, gender identities and levels of sports involvement, highlighting the inclusivity and variety within the sporting community.

General findings 

By delving into the societal, organizational, and individual levels of organized sports systems, this study sheds light on the challenges faced by these communities. The main highlights of the study are: 

  • High agreement (77% to 84%) indicates prevalent discrimination against women, lesbian/bisexual women, gay/bisexual men, and trans/non-binary individuals. This is particularly relevant if we consider that 74% of participants identified as a straight person and 94% identified as a cisgender person.
  • While there’s progress in promoting gender equality (79%), only 56% advocate for diversity in sexual orientation, and 43% for diversity in gender identity. A smaller percentage utilizes inclusive language (40%) or has anti-discrimination policies (40%), with just 25% having an anti-discrimination function.

Discrimination and negative experiences 

  • Witnessed Discriminatory Language: In the last year, respondents witnessed sexism (46%), homonegativity (28%), and transnegativity (16%) in their sports activities, shedding light on the persistence of discriminatory behavior.
  • About 10% experienced negative incidents in their main sports, including sexist and homo-hostile expressions, unfair treatment, and even physical violence, underscoring the personal toll of discrimination.
  • In the sample, 9% of participants feel excluded from sports of interest due to their sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. As with the findings on personal negative experiences, trans, inter and non-binary persons are particularly vulnerable, negative experiences also involve cisgender and heterosexual athletes (9% of cis women feel excluded from sport).

Complete research

Have a look at the complete research document for further information, more in-depth insights and findings.

Below the visualization of main findings


The sample consists of 2832 respondents. Among them ¾ self-identify as heterosexual, 13% as gay or lesbian and 10% as bisexual. Slightly under 50% of the respondents self-identify as women and men and 3% as non-binary. Almost half of the respondents are athletes and around ¼ coaches and board members/managers. The vast majority of the athletes and coaches participate in recreational (48%) or competitive amateur sports (40%), while 12% participate in elite sports.

Societal level

The respondents are quite sensitive towards discriminatory attitudes and behaviour against all groups in organised sports. With 84%, the agreement is highest for perceived discrimination against trans, intersex and non-binary persons, followed by gay/bisexual men and (lesbian/bisexual) women.

Organisational level

In the respondents’ sports organisations, promotion for gender equality is quite widespread (79%), while far less respondents report that their organisation promotes sexual diversity (56%) and or gender diversity (43%). 4 out of 10 organisations promote inclusive language and inform their members about anti-discriminations policies, while only ¼ have anti-discrimination functions in their organisations. About 60% of the board members and managers report that diversity or equality are part of their organisations’ statutes or values. Among them not even 1/3 follows a standardised organisation-wide procedure plan.

Organisational level

20% of the athletes report that their coach is not at all committed to non-discriminatory and gender-inclusive language, while more than 70% report that their coach never makes discriminatory comments based on sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. Witnessing discriminatory language is more common than witnessing other forms of discrimination in the respondents’ main sports activity/organisation, whereby sexism is most often witnessed in the last 12 months, followed by homonegativity and transnegativity.

Individual level

10% of the respondents report at least one negative experience in their main sports activity/ organisation in the last 12 months, with sexist expressions, homo-hostile expressions and unfair/unequal treatment being most often mentioned. ¼ of the respondents have experiences with crossing the line physically and 10% with physical violence. Non-binary persons are the most vulnerable group when it comes to negative experiences in organised sports, followed by persons with queer identities and trans women. 9% of the athletes consciously refrain from certain sports of interest due to internalized fears of being discriminated against. Important differences by gender identity occur: non-cis athletes are particularly affected with 63% of trans female athletes refraining from sports of interest, followed by trans male athletes (47%) and non-binary athletes (39%).