First trans woman approved to play Ladies Gaelic Football under new policy

The successful applicant described the decision as a "great milestone" and thanked the association for "making inclusion one of their core values".

Team photo of Na Gaeil Aeracha's trans inclusive Ladies Gaelic Football squad.
Image: Instagram: @NaGaeilAeracha

The Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) has approved its first trans applicant following the implementation of new participation guidelines earlier this year. The successful case belongs to Giulia Valentino, an Italian trans woman who has been playing with LGBTQ+-inclusive club Na Gaeil Aeracha since 2021.

Welcoming the news, the team stated: “We want to make sure there is space on the pitch for everyone regardless of their identity… Many of our players left sport at a young age after coming out and we hope to provide an open space for any player to learn and play our national sport.”

Valentino added that it is a “great milestone”, expressing: “It’s a difficult path but together, as shown, we can go far.

“I want to thank the LGFA for making inclusion one of their core values,” she continued.


The association’s new Transgender Policy was published on February 15, 2023, confirming that eligibility would be determined on a case-by-case basis. With its release, the LGFA reinforced that it is “committed to the inclusion of Trans-women,” and said it wants to support these athletes in playing “in a safe and inclusive environment.”

Under the criteria, trans women are firstly required to confirm their compliance with the governing body’s Official Guide, as well as all rules, policies and bye-laws. Secondly, they cannot have been the subject of any decision by the LGFA Transgender Risk Committee (TRC) with regard to any unacceptable risk arising, and third, they must fill out an application relevant to their case.

There are three different forms available for trans women and girls wishing to play or continue playing Ladies’ Gaelic Football, each catering to a different age group. For those aged 18 and over, there is Application A; for those aged over 12 years old and under 16 years old, there is Application B; and for those aged either 16 or 17, there is Application C.

In all three forms, a GP or suitably qualified medical practitioner must confirm that the athlete has transitioned or is transitioning from male to female and intends to live the rest of their life as a woman. In applications A and C, the healthcare professional must also declare that the person’s total testosterone level in serum during the previous 12 months is equal to or less than 10 nanomoles per litre.

There is also a requirement in all three forms to supply the LGFA with any supporting documentation relevant to the case.

The submissions are considered by the LGFA Transgender Application Committee (TAC), and if rejected, the athlete may request a review of the decision.

The news of the first successful application comes following Trans Day of Visibility on March 31, when another sporting milestone was reached. Marking the occasion, TRUK United made history by becoming the first all-trans masculine football team in European history to take on a cis men’s team, playing against Dulwich Hamlet FC Supporters Team in London.


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