These Brands Want to Change the Conversations Around Periods in Sport
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In a dream world, our periods wouldn’t stop us from doing anything. In reality, periods can be super physically and emotionally debilitating.
Although it is getting better, the conversation around periods hasn’t always been super inclusive, or encouraging. Historically, we haven’t been taught to embrace our periods or to talk openly about them. We’ve been taught to hide them, or “just deal with them”.
As someone who suffers with endometriosis, it’s almost impossible to ignore my period, as the pain can be so extreme, not to mention all the hormonal symptoms that come with chronic pain and imbalances.
Each woman and their experience with their uterus is different, but whatever our circumstance, we should feel encouraged to go through our periods with pride and care, rather than guilt and shame.
As part of the launch of their new leak-proof underwear collection, global sports company PUMA and leak-proof apparel company Modibodi commissioned a global survey that investigated the reason girls are leaving sport; shining a light on the numbers that really matter.
Sport is all about numbers. We celebrate the number of goals kicked, the number of games won, the number of records broken. What we don’t talk about is the number of girls leaving sport daily due to shame and fear of leaks.
The statistics PUMA and Modibodi unearthed were shocking, with one in two teens skipping sport because of their period. The global survey discovered that many girls stop playing sport due to embarrassment, pain or fear of leaks during their period. The survey insights show how the culture and lack of innovation around periods is holding girls back from participating in sport. The discomfort of disposable products and fear of leaks has psychologically impacted female players’ sporting performance. They also found there was a lack of education and training for coaches around how to deal with these matters has left female players without the necessary support.
With the subject of periods going undiscussed in the sports world, Australian PUMA athlete and AFL Collingwood star, Sabrina Frederick, is keen to break the stigma: “I was one of the ones who stayed in sport. But for many girls, that’s not a reality. Periods shouldn’t stop young girls from participating in sport. These are numbers we need to address, to keep girls in sport longer.”
The discourse around periods needs to become one of power, not one of weakness. A period is part of being a woman, and being a woman is powerful. What’s more; we need more female representation in sport.
Ali Riley, New Zealand PUMA athlete and captain of the Football Ferns, says that “it’s time to break the silence and help women and girls stay comfortable and active during their period.”
Modibodi and PUMA are hoping to do just that, with their new active underwear collection that “has been designed specifically to help making playing sport on your period more possible than ever before,” according to Riley.
Leave it to Modibodi to come up with a solution. Being the first period underwear brand on the market in Australia, their products are constantly improving and evolving, all with the common goal of making our periods more comfortable and sustainable.
“Three in five teens skip sport due to fear of leaking or revealing their period which is why we are thrilled to launch this collection with PUMA,” said Kristy Chong, CEO and Founder of Modibodi. Chong added that their goal was to “normalise menstruation and tackle the stigma that women can’t be active on their periods or when experiencing any of life’s leaks.”
“Our data also shows that one in two experience discomfort from disposable menstrual products like pads and tampons when participating in sport or physical exercise,” Chong said, “so by releasing this range of leak-proof underwear we are hoping to make playing sport on your period more comfortable, more protected, and more possible than ever.”
She continued: “Changing the world should be as easy as changing your underwear. Waste-free, leak-free, worry-free protection.”
Under the She Moves Us platform, PUMA and Modibodi believe that everybody who wants to participate in exercise or sport should be given the opportunity to stay active and play.
“Three in four women believe periods need to be more openly discussed in the sports world and it’s why we are proud to partner with Modibodi to shine a light on these numbers that really matter in sports,” said Erin Longin, Global Director Running and Training business unit at PUMA. “As a global brand, we felt it important to do our part to address this issue.”