The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is stepping up to support girls’ teams at grassroots clubs by offering free period products. This initiative, carried out in collaboration with Initial, aims to ensure that girls have easy and discreet access to in-cubicle period products.
Having undergone a successful trial in Derbyshire, this program is now being extended across England and Wales. The ECB’s Head of Female Participation, Tessa Whieldon, emphasizes the importance of creating “inclusive” facilities to make everyone feel welcome in the world of cricket. She believes that this move is a significant step towards transforming cricket into a more diverse and inclusive sport.
England cricketer Tammy Beaumont, a prominent supporter of this initiative, has previously highlighted the challenges of managing periods while wearing cricket whites. When the grassroots pilot initiative was first announced in June, Beaumont expressed the desire for girls and women to see cricket as a sport for them. To achieve this, it’s crucial to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and supported, she emphasized.
Research has indicated that the lack of period facilities at grassroots clubs can deter girls and women from participating in sports. The Well HQ, a women’s health advocacy group, has revealed that 64% of school-age girls may stop playing sports during their mid-teens due to period-related discomfort and embarrassment.
Notably, this move by the ECB follows a broader trend in sports to address the issue of menstruation. Some football teams, including the Lionesses, have modified their kits, moving away from white shorts to alleviate anxiety associated with playing while menstruating. Additionally, certain football clubs such as Brighton, Fulham, and Barnsley have started providing free sanitary products to female fans, responding to campaigns advocating better access to period products at football grounds in the UK.
This initiative by the ECB reflects a growing awareness of the importance of addressing period-related challenges in sports, with the goal of ensuring that all individuals, regardless of gender, can fully participate and enjoy their sporting activities.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Period Equality in Cricket
What is the ECB’s initiative regarding period products in grassroots clubs?
The ECB, in partnership with Initial, is providing free and discreet access to period products at grassroots clubs with girls’ teams across England and Wales.
Why is this initiative important?
This initiative aims to promote inclusivity in cricket by ensuring that girls have comfortable access to period products. It’s part of a broader effort to make cricket more diverse and inclusive.
How did Tammy Beaumont, an England cricketer, support this initiative?
Tammy Beaumont has been a vocal supporter of this initiative, emphasizing the importance of making girls and women feel comfortable and supported in cricket, particularly when dealing with periods.
What are the challenges that girls and women face in sports related to menstruation?
Research has shown that the lack of period facilities can be a barrier to participation, with 64% of school-age girls potentially stopping sports due to period-related discomfort and shame.
Are other sports addressing this issue?
Yes, some football teams, including the Lionesses, have modified their kits to address period anxiety. Certain football clubs, such as Brighton, Fulham, and Barnsley, provide free sanitary products for female fans to improve access at football grounds in the UK.
How does this initiative contribute to gender equality in sports?
By providing free period products, the ECB is actively working to remove barriers that may have discouraged girls and women from participating in cricket, contributing to greater gender equality in the sport.