Only the opposition keeper should get caught short is the philosophy Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC are taking in 2019 towards periods.
A taboo subject around many football stadiums up and down the country Avenue look to join other campaigners in making sure sanitary products are free and accessible in all its toilets at their home stadium, The Horsfall.
As of this week’s home game against FC United of Manchester all ladies toilets will have a basket of free sanitary products for anyone who visits the stadium to use if they need.
The facts are clear. In Bradford period poverty is a massive issue. In October 2018 the council met to discuss the issue and continue to do so, with many schools in the area involved with the red box project. It is not just period poverty that stops our female fans attending games. Research by WaterAid revealed a staggering 67% of women adapt their lifestyle while on their period, fearing awkward situations such as leakage, having to hide sanitary products and being caught short. This means a football fan could miss a match a month for fear of being caught short at football or not having the correct facilities to use at the football.
At Park Avenue, we have a great foundation to build on. We have separate changing and toilet facilities for female staff (no waiting till the lads are out the changing room to shower after a game.) and we have a large number of toilet facilities for women.
These facilities will now all contain free sanitary products and a bin to dispose of used products for free. This will hopefully mean our female fans/staff/opposition fans feel comfortable while enjoying the football even when on their period.
We will not let being on our periods stop us from seeing the Avenue win at home. We now hope other teams in the league will follow our lead.