Removing period stigma in sport: A new commitment by Welsh Government
The Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, has pledged to destigmatise periods to bolster participation of women and girls in sports.
This initiative will be supported by increasing the availability of period products at sports facilities and educating sportspersons about the impact of menstrual cycles on their performance.
Meeting with players from Cardiff City FC Women’s team at their training facilities, the Minister discussed the team’s efforts to support players in training and competing in alignment with their menstrual cycles.
The club is currently involved in a study analysing the impact of menstrual cycles on performance, an initiative that underlines their commitment to breaking down barriers around period discussions.
The team also aims to enhance female representation in coaching roles and encourages players to freely voice their opinions.
The Welsh Government’s Period Proud Wales plan aims to combat period poverty by improving access to period products and promoting period dignity, which involves dispelling any stigma or shame associated with menstruation.
Over £12m has been invested since 2018 to provide children, young people, and low-income individuals access to free period products.
Additionally, £24m has been pledged towards Sport Wales from 2022-25 to develop inclusive sporting facilities across Wales, with an additional £1.25m granted in the last financial year (2022-23).
“We want to ensure that having a period doesn’t mean women and girls can’t participate in sport,” Hutt said. “We aim to remove the stigma of talking about periods and improve access to a choice of period products.”
Echoing Hutt’s sentiment, Iain Darbyshire, head of women and girls’ football at Cardiff City FC, stated: “We have started taking part in a study to research into the impact of menstrual cycles on performance as we want to support players in every way we can. We want to ensure that our players aren’t afraid to talk about their periods.”
The club has also recently recruited female strength and conditioning coaches as part of its commitment to empowering women in sports.
The Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden, affirmed that sport has the potential to empower women and girls, break down gender stereotypes, and improve women’s self-esteem.
Lowri Roberts, Head of Women and Girls’ Football at the Football Association of Wales, emphasised the importance of creating inclusive and positive environments, she said:
“To grow football in Wales, we know it is so important that we create inclusive and positive environments where women and girls can be their best self. Removing shame and stigma around discussing periods and ensuring better access to period products at sports facilities will go a long way to support this.
“We look forward to seeing how the Welsh Government’s Period Proud Wales Plan, alongside the research conducted in this field can further accelerate the growth of women and girls’ football for it to reach its full potential.” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com