The worlds first transgender international sports coach has been officially announced for New Zealand’s mens sports team for netball. While netball might not be the most popular sport on the planet, this breaking news is a big deal and could potentially break barriers for future transgender coaches trying to make a name for themselves. Others in the community are ecstatic about this news because they feel like their culture is getting taken more seriously and ads credibility to the movement they’re trying to create.
Sarah Michelle Hansen-Vaeau is the coach that received the promotion and she has dedicated most of her life to coaching both men’s and women’s netball teams. The good news is the players completely supported this decision so it shouldn’t cause any tension within the team or stifle their high hopes for the upcoming season. After interviewing Sarah, she spoke about tons of adversity she’s had to face over the years as a transgender competing and coaching in the sports world. Her story is highly motivating for individuals trying to change the world because she didn’t let any of the negative talk surrounding her affect her mission in any sort of way.
The sports team that gave Sarah the promotion is extremely optimistic about the upcoming season and feel like they have a good shot at winning the title. “She has an aggressive style and her technical skills are through the roof so we feel very confident she is going to add an extreme amount of value to the team as a whole.” If they win the national tournament then they will automatically qualify for the international tournament which would make Sarah the first international head coach of any sports organization.
The talk around the transgender sports world is buzzing with energy because of this recent move. It could potentially open up the door for coaches and players around the world to be recognized for their talents rather than their sexuality. On the flip side there are sports organizations that have spoke out against this move because the obvious debate of fairness comes into the picture, at least when it’s considering athletes and not the coaches. It will be interesting to see what future impact this has on the sports world in this ever changing landscape of gender debates.