The Women’s England football team recently announced a change to blue shorts for their players. Read on to discover what this means for girls in sport.
*image credit: englandfootball.com
How do periods affect girls in sport?
Here at WUKA we believe that nothing should hold you back in life, and especially not your period. But the truth is that when it comes to sport, girls are being held back- whether unintentionally or not. We've previously written about the affects of puberty on girls in sport, highlighting the fact that a staggering 78% of girls actually avoid sport at school, and more so when they’re on their period.
And while we’re making great strides in breaking down taboos and challenging the stigmas that surround menstruation, we still have a long way to go. According to a report by Wen, 48% of girls still say they’re embarrassed about their period, with 15% admitting that they felt ashamed of their cycle. Wen also reports that a staggering 137,000 children in the UK have missed school due to their period, with 40% admitting they’re likely to miss more school again this academic year.
The reasons why girls avoid sport are complex, ranging from feeling self-conscious about their changing body shape, to anxiety linked to their period- feeling tired and weak, suffering with period cramps and other PMS symptoms, not to mention fear of leaking through to their clothing. And at a time when self esteem can be poor, it’s little wonder that more girls decide to quit sport, even if they actually enjoy taking part.
The affect that periods have on girls in sport is an issue we're determined to tackle here at WUKA. Take a look at our #TackleAnything campaign for more details of our partnership with Watford Football Club's Women's Team and to find out more about what we're doing to help. It's genuinely so wonderful to see WUKA representing even the men’s matches to 22,000 fans- normalising a period wear company sponsor at men’s matches is what we want to see more of!
What do the England kit changes mean for girls in sport?
The lack of adequate changing rooms and not having access to proper period protection certainly needs addressing, but we also need to look at the clothing that girls are expected to wear, too. Tiny PE knickers? White shorts? Neither option is likely to encourage a girl to relish the prospect of sport during her period!
We fully support the changes to England Women’s team kit, from white to blue shorts- and we hope these changes will now start to filter down to schools and other teams too. The changes mean that girls no longer need to fear embarrassing and highly noticeable leaks should they occur- and if teamed with WUKA period pants, girls can be as active as they like without this fear, full stop. That’s huge.
The changes have also given girls and women a voice, and a chance to smash some taboos by being able to talk about their period, and to make positive changes to accommodate one of the most natural biological events there is. It’s helping to break down period shame, instead empowering people who menstruate. Its inspiring young girls and teens to keep going, to not give up on the activities that they enjoy. It also teaches them that it’s ok to talk about periods. To ask for consideration. To recognise that we bleed, so let us deal with it.
The kit changes are a positive step in the right direction- now we need to keep going! We need to abolish period shame, we need to teach our children that periods are normal, periods are amazing. We need to make sure our girls have all they need to manage them safely, hygienically and without embarrassment or shame.
Shop WUKA period wear for girls and teens
Your period doesn’t need to hold you back form sports, so don’t let it! Period pants are designed to absorb your flow without the need for any other protection- so no need to wear a bulky and uncomfortable pad, which probably won’t stay in place during an active game anyway!
Period pants are super comfortable and 100% leak-proof, so even if your shorts are the right colour to disguise leaks, you can rest assured we’ve got you covered. Shop our Teen Stretch Seamless pants- they’re multi-size, fitting ages 8-16 and available in black, red and blue, with matching wash bags too.
WUKA Perform Collection
The WUKA Perform collection was designed with an active lifestyle in mind. Shop seamless period pants, period leggings, period swimsuit and period swim bikini briefs- all with a 100% leak-proof guarantee of comfort and style.
We also have our reusable period shorts (sleek black shorts made from eco-friendly recycled polyester, with a pair of period pants stitched right in there for a complete pad and tampon replacement) and they've received glowing reviews like this one:
"Perfect period shorts for running!
I absolutely love these shorts! I always get anxious around running on my period, and looking to bulky with pads, but these shorts eliminate those worries and allow me to just run! I’m just happy I can feel empowered on my period!!"
is it normal not to want to exercise on your period?
It’s totally normal to want to curl up into a ball on the sofa during your period! But it’s also totally normal to just get out there and do it, too. In fact, exercise has been shown to reduce pain and can boost endorphins too, leaving you feeling better then before you started, so if you can manage just ten minutes, do it.
Can girls do PE on their period?
It’s totally safe to do PE on your period, and as long as you have adequate period protection it shouldn’t hold you back at all. Period pants are a great alternative to bulky and unreliable pads during sports- they’ll stay put while you move, and they’ll absorb your flow without issue, leaving you with 100% confidence in a lead-free performance.