queer rights background

10 December 2020, 14-15h (CET)

Thank you so much for attending our webinar Trans and Queer Themes in Girls and Youth Sports Clubs with Girls in the Lead!

The webinar was short and sweet, and it only scraped the surface – but it revealed a need for a deeper discussion and collaboration. Together we can do so much more in building an inclusive movement in sports for development. 

The goal of the event was to bring people together to discuss what we want to learn and share with each other, and raise key topics to discuss in more depth in a longer event held in January 2021. 

We wanted to hear multidisciplinary perspectives to the current issues in centering girls when discussing trans and queer themes in sport clubs. 

The following key themes were raised in discussions of what we want learn more about and how we would like to proceed:

  1. Finding the learning tools, language and space to do the work together – resources, governance and advocacy to proceed on a policy level and in practice 
  2. International advocacy and collaboration for LGBTQI community in sports – network with other stakeholders and partners to respond to the needs to create inclusive spaces 
  3. Inclusive perspective to safeguarding children in sports – especially in countries with more religious and legislative restrictions 
  4. Build universities as safe spaces to deliver sports teams and programs 
  5. Finding pathways to influence high-level and olympic policies and reaching out to federations


Girls in the Lead wants to center girls and youth in the discussion about how to make sports clubs and associations better spaces for queer and trans people. 

Girls in the Lead is an international learning collaborative of sports for development projects for girls and women.  As the founder of Boxgirls in Germany and later helping girls’ activists get started in Nairobi and Cape Town, we have worked to create space for other queer and trans people in a project that is clearly positioned as a queer feminist organization built to advance girls’ and women’s rights and challenge structural discrimination.

Often we only consider the perspectives of adults when we discuss opening of sports clubs to a wider explicit inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity. We would like to start a discussion with practitioners about sexual orientation and gender identity and the specific opportunities and challenges of working with girls and youth.

We would like to share and build on the work of excellent initiatives like Outsport in the EUSports for Social Change Network in Southern Africa, and urban initiatives from Berlin, Stockholm and Delhi. 

Preliminary Program

The webinar will include a series of interactive sessions on how to center girls and youth in the discussion about how to make sports clubs and associations more inclusive for queer and trans people. 

14:00-14:05 Goals of Girls in the Lead and for today

14:05-14:15 Who is here? What do we want to learn? What learnings can we share?

14:15-14:30 Talkshow interview

14:30-14:45 Breakout rooms with guest hosts

14:45-15:00 Shareback

We are delighted to welcome our guests –  Lombe Mwambwa from NOWSPAR, Itong Ehrke from Seitenwechsel and Mathilde Piehl from RFSL – who will offer insights and host breakout rooms for discussions. The event will be moderated by Dr. Heather Cameron, founder of Girls in the Lead.

In order to learn more about you before the webinar and to pick a breakout room – please fill out the survey here by Thursday noon, 10 December (CET).

Our Guests

Itong Ehrke

Itong Ehrke

Project Manager, Seitenwechsel

Itong Ehrke has been working as a project manager at Seitenwechsel for 20 years.

Seitenwechsel was founded in 1988 in Germany as a sports club for women, and is now the largest sports club for women and girls, and trans, intersex and non-binary community in Europe.

Mathilda Piehl

Mathilda Piehl

Director of Communications, RFSL

Mathilda Piehl is the Director of Communications at The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Rights.

RFSL is a Swedish non-profit organization founded in 1950. RFSL’s goal is that LGBTQI people should have the same rights, possibilities and obligations as everybody else in society. RFSL works locally, nationally and internationally and is an ever growing organisation with about 7 000 members and 36 branches all over Sweden. RFSL runs many different activities and projects.

Lombe Mwambwa

Lombe Mwambwa

International Advisor, NOWSPAR

Lombe Mwambwa is an International Advisor at the National Organisation for Women in Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation (NOWSPAR) and the Anita White Foundation (AWF).

Over the last 15 years, Lombe Mwambwa has been involved in the sport for development sector in roles including community engagement, monitoring, advocacy, board service, and resource mobilisation.

NOWSPAR is a Zambian Non-Governmental Organisation established in 2006, comprised of women and men who believe that sport, physical activity and recreation have the power to foster social change and increase an individual’s quality of life.