by Matthew Durrant · 22/08/2018
West are proud to have joined the On The Ball campaign for free sanitary products in football stadiums. Started by Celtic fans Orlaith Duffy, Erin Slaven and Mikaela McKinley, the campaign aims to get every club in the UK to sign up, and their progress thus far has been a symbol of quite how needed the initiative was. Starting by successfully petitioning their own club, others teams – such as Tranmere Rovers, Kilmarnock, and Barnsley – have also got onboard. Football should be for all, and we’re pleased that one further barrier that may have stopped that being so has been removed.
As of our opening game of the season against Northwich Victoria, Brookburn Road now provides complimentary sanitary products in the female toilets, that are free to anyone who requires them for any reason whatsoever. This is something we intended to continue in perpetuity, and if you notice that supplies are low or anything is awry, please let us know. The implementation of this initiative at West was spearheaded by our own Celtic leaning supporter Barca Jim – and it is something that we were more than happy to be involved with. If you would like to donate products yourself, we would be more than happy to accept any contributions – simply hand them in at the bar, or drop them off in the toilets yourself.
On the Ball has been featured on BBC 5 Live, TalkSport, and the BBC website, who provided the following vital information:
According to charity Bloody Good Period, the average lifetime cost of sanitary products is approximately £4,800.
In addition, a 2017 survey of 1,000 14- to 21-year-olds by Plan International UK found that one in 10 women and girls have been unable to afford sanitary products, while 12% have had to improvise their sanitary wear.
Yet, as Erin points out, “people aren’t going around paying for toilet roll or soap in public toilets”.
She adds: “One of the most common arguments we get is that if people can afford a match ticket, they can afford a tampon.
“That’s easily quashed. At Celtic, and I imagine at a lot of other clubs, a lot of tickets are given to charities so young people come who haven’t paid for their tickets or their transport, so why should they have to pay for their period products?
“Young girls often come to games with male relatives, and it is difficult for them to say ‘Dad can I have £2 for the machine?'”
Read the full article here
If you have any other ideas as to how the club could be more inclusive, or have any other projects like this that you think could benefit our community, we’d love to hear from you – get in touch below.