Horncastle Ladies

Horncastle Town Take Major Initiative With Kit Change

Black shorts now worn by the team in line with menstrual cycles

Horncastle Town FC U15 Girls have taken a stand that acts as a real milestone for other clubs and players to take on board.

They were successful in arranging for the colour of their shorts for their home and away kits to be changed to black as a result of their menstrual cycles.

The subject had been a source of anxiety to the players, and also for other teams, which is why this change will have a positive impact, and could inspire other girl's and women's football teams to take a similar step.

Emma Farrington, club secretary at Horncastle Town, explained: "Our management team had read an article with regards West Brom Ladies changing the colour of their shorts to black to alleviate any anxiety in relation to the menstrual cycle.

"We were aware at this point that some of our girls were already wearing an additional black base layer under the red shorts.

"We then requested that this issue be addressed at the next available committee meeting (which took place at the beginning of October), and for switching to black shorts to be discussed. The committee stated they wanted what was best for the girls and more than happy to support them. We agreed that the girls should be supported to vote on what they wanted to wear moving forwards. The girls unanimously voted they wanted to make the switch to wear black shorts.

"Furthermore, we considered the suggestion that reducing period anxiety may increase performance for the girls without the added concern of anxiety. We hoped this would also increase focus on the game itself. Funding for additional shorts was not available, we approached Joanne Holderness, a businesswoman in Horncastle, who was very supportive and agreed to sponsor the teams’ shorts.

"As a management team, we want what is best for our girls and feel proud that we have heard their voice and been able to support them to perform to the best of their ability without distraction."

Lacey Holgate, team captain at Horncastle Town, added: "The black shorts make us feel better, they help us focus on the football because you don’t have to worry about anything else. We are grateful that Joanne could help us as this means no more expense to parents, they pay enough driving us around to games!"

Cissy Radford, Lincolnshire FA Women and Girls’ Football Development Officer, added: "Across the world, we see a drop off for girls in all sports in their teenage years for a variety of reasons. One reason is, as girls grow older and their bodies change, they often don’t feel confident in the clothes they have to wear.

"The initiative shown by these girls is remarkable; they’ve taken autonomy of their football and come together to ensure the whole team feels comfortable and safe when playing. Menstruation has been a taboo in women’s sport for too long, and it’s so encouraging to see young girls standing up for what is right for them. These girls should feel proud of themselves."

You can find out more about this story by watching a recent BBC News report on the subject below: https://youtu.be/21yPTd1vbZg.