“Removing the stigma of talking about periods in sport will encourage more women and girls to take part,” vows Minister
It is hoped that improving the availability of period products in exercise facilities, and encouraging exercisers to educate themselves about how their menstrual cycle affects their exercise, will encourage more women and girls to exercise.
Social Justice Secretary and Chief Whip Jane Hutt met with players from Cardiff City FC women’s team to learn how they are helping players play and train to suit their menstrual cycles.
The Minister met the players on Thursday (25 May) at their training facilities at Ocean Park Arena, which was set up with the intention of being a sports center for the development of women’s and youth football in central Cardiff.
The club are currently participating in a study to examine the influence of the menstrual cycle on performance so that they can monitor when a player is spending the most time training and competing.
The club are also trying to remove the barriers to talking about periods by hiring more female coaches and giving players the freedom to voice their opinions.
Two key objectives of the Welsh Government’s Period Proud Wales plan are tackling period poverty by increasing access to period products and ensuring the dignity of the period by removing any sense of stigma or shame associated with the period.
Since 2018, the Welsh Government has invested over £12m to ensure children, young people and those on low incomes have access to free menstrual products.
In addition, the Welsh Government has committed £24m of capital to Sport Wales over the next three years (2022-2025) to help develop inclusive facilities across Wales and a further £1.25m in the last Fiscal year (2022). until 2023).
Sport Wales will prioritize applications that address inequality, including gender issues such as period dignity.
Investing in sports facilities, both elite and grassroots, is a commitment of our program to government and underscores the important link between increased participation and the health and well-being of our nation.
Talks were recently held with local authorities to plan how the funds could be channeled to sports clubs to ensure young people and those struggling to access period products have the opportunity to do so.
The plan also aims to increase the participation of women, girls and menstruating people in sports. The Welsh Government will work with Sport Wales to assess the impact of the periods on those who play and exercise, so considerations to improve and maintain levels of participation can be considered.
Social Justice Secretary and Chief Whip Jane Hutt said:
It is important that a period does not become a barrier to physical activity and we are doing everything we can to increase the participation of women and girls.
We strive to improve the availability of period products, whether in the community such as libraries, community centers and food banks, or in more sport-oriented settings such as recreation centers and sports clubs.
We want to make sure that a period doesn’t prevent women and girls from exercising as we want to remove the stigma of talking about periods and improve access to a range of period products.
Iain Darbyshire, Head of Women’s and Girls’ Football at Cardiff City FC said: “We have started to take part in a study to look at the impact of menstrual cycles on performance as we want to support women players in every way we can.
We want to make sure our players aren’t afraid to talk about their periods, including how they’re feeling at the different stages of their menstrual cycle, so we can figure out what works for them and what doesn’t.
The club has invested in facilities specifically designed for women and girls, which will hopefully help increase participation in the future.
Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism Dawn Bowden said:
Sport has the potential to empower women and girls, break down gender stereotypes and boost women’s self-esteem, and we strive to do everything in our power to increase participation.
It has been encouraging to see the growth of women’s and girls’ football in Wales in recent years but we must continue to ensure they are given the same opportunities as boys so that they can participate throughout their lives.
The club also recently hired female strength and conditioning coaches and is looking to expand its coaching roster with more women.
Lowri Roberts, Head of Women’s and Girls’ Football at the Football Association of Wales said:
We know that creating an inclusive and positive environment where women and girls can do their best is so important to the growth of football in Wales. Eliminating the shame and stigma associated with discussing periods and ensuring better access to period products in sports facilities will go a long way towards achieving this.
We look forward to seeing how the Welsh Government’s Period Proud Wales Plan, together with the research undertaken in this area, can further accelerate the growth of women’s and girls’ football to reach its full potential.