31 year old Trans water polo player to compete in women’s national Collegiate championships

Alicia Paans is a 31-year-old trans athlete from the University of Michigan who is gearing up for the 2024 National Collegiate Water Polo Championships. Paans made headlines last year by leading the team to victory.

The CWPA championships are scheduled to take place from May 3 to May 5 at Texas A&M University. There will be 16 teams from across the United States competing for the women’s title.

In March, the club team announced Paans as the ‘player of the week’ on Instagram, mentioning that she is also the state champion chess player. Paan finished second in the women’s open division in the 2022 Michigan women’s championships.

runner up in the Women’s Open of the Michigan Chess Association’s championships in 2022.

In 2023, Paans (originally known as Johnny) participated in the women’s water polo team. They defeated the University of California–Santa Barbara to win the national championship.

The CWPA introduced a progressive policy in January 2024, affirming the eligibility of transgender athletes who identify as female to participate in both the Co-ed League and the Women’s League.

Trans athletes who wish to compete in the women’s division must submit a letter to the CWPA attesting to their gender identity and provide written confirmation from their physician confirming the start of testosterone suppression. They may also submit test result demonstrating testosterone levels below 10 nmol/L within 60 days of the athlete’s first competition.

Jennifer is the mother of a female NCAA water polo player who competed with Paans in the 2023 championships. She told Reduxx that when she first met Paans, it was “obvious” that the athlete was trans.

“My husband and I saw him first, standing aside the pool before [University of Michigan’s] first game. We looked at each other in surprise, and immediately knew it was a man. I observed Alicia quite a bit over the tournament, partly out of concern for the women, and also wondering how his teammates acted around him.”

She also expressed her anxiety about the thought that her daughter would be forced to compete against a man, but she was “relieved” when the match did not happen.

Jennifer continued: “None of these women were initially aware a man had been allowed to play. Many of the player’s on my daughter’s team were almost in shock at the situation, and spoke to one another about discomfort with it. But to my knowledge, no one spoke to the organizers of the tournament. They felt that nothing would be done given that it was allowed based on [CWPA] policy.”