Horncastle Town U15 Girls footballers now sporting inclusive black shorts

Many girls miss out on playing sports because of concerns of taking part while on their periods.

From left: Horncastle footballers Megan Gelder, Jess Frick, coach Jamie Town, Joanne Holderness of Shoes by Grace, Liv Town, Maisie Farrington and Olivia Sausby-Gallimore
From left: Horncastle footballers Megan Gelder, Jess Frick, coach Jamie Town, Joanne Holderness of Shoes by Grace, Liv Town, Maisie Farrington and Olivia Sausby-Gallimore

But now Horncastle Town FC have taken the pioneering step of allowing their U15 Girls team to play in new, inclusive black shorts to eradicate any anxiety of playing when on their period – breaking with 150 years of wearing their traditional red shorts.

The decision came as the team had recently seen that Championship football team West Bromwich Albion had changed their home kit from white shorts to navy shorts to support their female squad’s concerns of wearing white while on their period.

Manager Jamie Town said that the club was “more than happy” to support their girls, as some had started wearing black Under Armour shorts under their red kit to feel more comfortable:

"The girls are obviously growing up and there’s a degree of period anxiety,” he said, “We saw that West Bromwich Albion had recently changed their kit for this reason, and we felt it was the right thing to do for our girls.”

Jamie put the idea to the club’s committee, who agreed to support the girls.

As the funding wasn’t available for the new black shorts this season, Jamie approached Joanne Holderness, owner of Grace's Boutique in Horncastle, who he said was “very supportive” and agreed to sponsor the change of shorts for the girls.

These were then presented to the girls on Monday night at the boutique, located on the high street, and Jamie said the team was very grateful to Joanne for her support.

Joanne said: “I know how difficult it can be for girls – my daughter has just started secondary school and we’ve got all those worries to come, so I was more than happy to support the team.

"If more businesses got behind local sports teams like this, it would be brilliant for everyone.”

According to the charity Women in Sport, 1.3 million teenage girls who loved sport at primary school are disengaging during puberty, with seven out of ten girls avoiding being active on their period regardless of how sporty they are.

The main reasons were due to fear of leakage (62 percent) and because they feel more self-conscious (45 percent), with another 28 percent of girls not wanting to wear sports kit.

A spokesman for Women in Sport has praised the club’s new stance: “Finally, the needs of girls are being listened to.

"Periods have been seen as taboo for far too long and consequently the fear of leakage and stigma has forced girls to the side lines. Whether competing on the world stage, at club level or at the local park, girls should be able to concentrate on their performance and the enjoyment of the game without being distracted by the impractical colour of their kit.”

It’s been a fantastic year for the Under 15s girls team so far, with the team taking part in the Europa Cup 2022 at Paris St Germain (PSG)’s stadium, Parc des Princes, in Paris earlier this year.

The team is currently sitting pretty at the top of the league this season and Jamie said they’ve been making fantastic progress as a team, both on and off the pitch.

To find out more about Horncastle Town FC, or to enquire about joining any of the teams, visit https://www.horncastletownfc.co.uk/