As a trailblazer in Irish sport, Giulia Valentino made history by becoming the first openly trans woman to play for the Ladies Gaelic Football LGFA.
Giulia was initially excluded from Irish rugby due to a transphobic IRFU ban, but her outstanding advocacy and work with TENI moved the LGFA to create a trans-inclusive policy so that trans women can fully and safely participate in GAA (Na Gaeil Aeracha) and rugby (Emerald Warriors).
Giulia has gained recognition for her accomplishments and for continuously standing up for trans women in sport. Unfortunately this media attention also means that she has faced considerable transphobic hate and lies, but she responds with bravery and grace.
Upon receiving her award, Giulia shared she is a proud member of Emerald Warriors, that she was honoured to be recognised, and thanked everyone for supporting her through a “tough but incredible year.”
Pink Ladies Hockey Team
The Pink Ladies Hockey Team is an off-season LGBTQ+ hockey club in Dublin that has been practicing for over ten years.
With over 150 members, the club is one of Ireland’s most well-established queer sports teams. The team offers a warm and supportive environment for queer women athletes of all ages and abilities to play hockey and build social connections. In 2024, the Pink Ladies will participate in the annual field hockey tournament at the EuroGames in Vienna, Austria.
Sarsfield Rugby Team
Founded in 2022, the Sarsfield Rugby Club provides a safe space for queer people to play rugby in Clare, Kerry, Tipperary, and Limerick. The founders acknowledge that rugby has not always been an inclusive sport, and the goal of the team is to create an inclusive space and ensure a positive experience for LGBTQ+ players. Players of all experience levels, abilities, and identities are welcome to join.
Sporting Pride is non-profit LGBTQ+ community organisation that focuses on developing inclusivity in sport and inspiring the LGBTQ+ community to be active. Sporting Pride believes sport can help break down inequalities within society, and they emphasise how important these spaces are. They support a range of sports clubs throughout the country, and their work has received praise for their commitment to making sure LGBTQ+ women and non-binary people have a safe space to play and make friends.