Coaches at Sleaford Town Juniors Football Club are ensuring that suitable sanitary products are in place within the club if needed by players across its girls teams from U11 upwards.
John Williams, Girls Development Co-ordinator and U15s Coach at the club, explained what steps are being taken to normalise the conversation and ensure sanitary products are easy to access within the club. He said:
“We decided two years ago that we needed a separate medical bag which would hold sanitary products which the girls could use whenever they needed to. At a training session the week prior, a player was in a position in which they needed a sanitary product at short notice but was unfortunately unprepared. We were lucky enough that the venue we were at was a school and they had some products available.
“This made us think, as a coaching team made up of two males, that we needed to be better prepared ourselves. So, within the week we had purchased a variety of sanitary items to fill the bag. And at the very next training session we explained that anybody could come and collect the bag and use anything out of it if they needed to. We normalised the conversation, because as two males the girls needed to feel comfortable to be able to approach us. If we didn’t normalise the need then they may not come to us.
“The bag has evolved and now also holds tissues, wipes, microfibre tape for piercings, paracetamol and even hair bobbles.
“At the beginning of the season another coach at the club secured a huge donation box from Tesco in Sleaford to have sanitary products in the clubhouse whenever needed. From this box we are now putting together extra kits for each girls team from U11s upwards."