Last updated on June 21st, 2023 at 10:22 PM
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Initial Washroom Hygiene (Initial) have joined forces in an impactful strategic partnership aimed at promoting period dignity within grassroots cricket.
The core objective of this collaboration is to ensure that menstruation no longer acts as a barrier for women and girls who wish to engage in sports.
Leveraging Initial’s extensive research and expertise in maintaining period dignity, the partnership will involve the provision of In Cubicle Period Dignity Dispensers to grassroots clubs with girls’ sections, along with the regular servicing of period waste bins.
These discreet dispensers will offer free access to period products within the privacy of toilet cubicles, addressing the critical needs of those who menstruate precisely when they need it.
To kick-start the initiative, a pilot program will commence in Derbyshire, facilitated by the Derbyshire Cricket Foundation, before expanding across England and Wales.
Aligned by shared values of respect, inclusivity, taboo eradication, and the encouragement of girls’ participation in sports, education will also assume a vital role in the partnership between the ECB and Initial.
The ECB aims to involve all Women’s and Girls’ Cricket Development Officers throughout England and Wales in this significant endeavour. Educational materials are being developed to dispel menstrual cycle taboos, alongside the provision of portable “dignity bags” for cricket coaches, ensuring easy accessibility to period products.
This drive to dismantle barriers hindering the entry of women and girls into cricket is a testament to the game’s commitment to inclusivity.
It follows the establishment of the Women’s Health Group, consisting of medical professionals and cricketers, dedicated to surveying players and conducting research on women’s health in sports, ultimately enhancing the well-being, physical performance, and overall experience of female cricketers.
Tammy Beaumont, a prominent England Women’s cricketer and member of the Women’s Health Group, expressed her support for the initiative, stating, “We want as many girls and women as possible to feel that cricket is a game for them – and in order to do that, we need to ensure that everyone is comfortable and supported.
With the LV= Insurance Women’s Ashes Test match commencing this week at Trent Bridge, where we will be wearing white, it is the perfect moment to reaffirm the game’s commitment to period dignity.
As England players, we are proud to wear white during Test cricket matches. Our sport differs from football and rugby in that wearing white is essential for visibility when playing with a hard, red ball.”
Beaumont continued, “Whether you are playing at the club level or representing England, you should not have to worry about anything other than your performance and enjoyment.
Menstruation should not hold anyone back from participating in cricket and having the confidence to embrace the sport. We hope that this partnership will contribute to that objective.”
Jill Rodgers, Area Marketing Director for the UK, Ireland, Baltics & SSA at Initial, emphasized their belief in the right to period dignity for everyone who menstruates, emphasizing the importance of providing free period products within the confines of toilet cubicles.
Rodgers stated, “Our research has shown that an overwhelming majority (94%) of individuals who menstruate would prefer to find feminine hygiene provisions supplied directly in the toilet cubicle.
No girl or woman wants to be caught unprepared and without access to the necessary products when and where they need them.”