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Unfair Play: The Battle for Women’s Sport and Against Attempts to Silence its Champions

July 5, 2023 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm UTC+0

Wednesday 5th July, in-person in Central London or Online


Of all the issues thrown up by the rise of gender ideology and the push for trans-inclusivity, safety and fairness in women’s sport is probably the one that has most grabbed mainstream public attention. And yet, too often, debate has been shut down and those who raise questions have been de-legitimised and accused of ‘transphobia’.

One of the most impressively stalwart campaigners, working to keep the debate open, is British Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies MBE. Sharron is a legendary British Olympian, the UK’s top female swimmer throughout the 80s. In 1980, she won Olympic Silver (losing out only to a drugs cheat). She has since become a leading BBC sports pundit.

The Free Speech Union is therefore delighted to host the official launch of Sharron’s new book, Unfair Play: The Battle for Women’s Sport, written with award-winning sports correspondent Craig Lord.

IN-PERSON tickets, with a discount price for FSU members and a celebratory wine reception, can be purchased here:


FSU members who prefer to join ONLINE, should register free of charge, using the link sent in the weekly newsletter and in emails from FSU Events.


Non-FSU members who prefer to join ONLINE can pay £5 to register here:


About the book


Sharron Davies is no stranger to battling the routine sexism of the sporting world. She missed out on Olympic Gold because of blatant doping among East German athletes in the 1980s and has never received justice. Now, biological males are being allowed to compete directly against women under the guise of trans ‘self- ID’, a development that could destroy the integrity of female sport. This callous indifference towards women in sport, argue Sharron and journalist Craig Lord, is merely the latest stage in a decades-long history of sexism on the part of sport’s higher-ups.

Unfair Play: The battle to save women’s sport provides the facts, science and arguments that will help women in sport get the justice they deserve.

Join us on Wednesday 5th July to hear from Sharron about why she wrote the book and the struggles she has faced to get her arguments heard.

We have brought together a superb panel to discuss the issues with Sharron:

Dr Emma Hilton is a prize-winning development biologist who has advised various governing bodies on transgender policy in sport including World Rugby. She is a director of Sex Matters, a UK-based human rights group that campaigns for clarity on the (UK) protected characteristic of sex in law and in institutions. Her current research activity is an academic scoping review of transgender athlete policies of the most popular UK sports.

Cathy Devine is an independent researcher and expert in sport policy, equality and human rights for girls and women. She has published widely in this area over the last 15 years. In the last two years she has advised a number of international and UK sport organisations (often confidentially) on transgender inclusion policies that do not compromise equal sporting opportunities for girls and women. She worked for 23 years as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Cumbria, UK, and is an erstwhile Secretary of the British Philosophy of Sport Association.

In the chair will be Dr Jan Macvarish. Jan is Education and Events Director of the Free Speech Union. Before joining the staff of the FSU, she worked as an academic sociologist, studying parenting, family life, intimacy and reproductive health.

There will be an audience Q and A and plenty of time to socialise afterwards over a complimentary glass of wine, courtesy of Swift Press. The book will be on sale on the night and Sharron will be signing copies.

DATE: Wednesday 5th July

TIME: 7pm until 8.30pm, (doors open 6.30pm). Followed by celebratory wine reception.

VENUE: The Council Chamber, Hallam Conference Centre, 44 Hallam Street, London W1W 6JJ.

TICKETS: FSU Members £10 / Non-members £20 / Age 25s and under £12. Join the FSU today for free speech support and discounted tickets to all events, membership from as little as £2.49 per month.


July 5, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm UTC+0
Event Category:


The Free Speech Union
020 3920 7865
View Organiser Website


The Council Chamber
Hallam Conference Centre, 44 Hallam Street
London, W1W 6JJ United Kingdom
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