Volleyball Ireland turn upcoming #EuroVolleyU20W into first Period Supportive Championships


Article Wed, Jul 10 2024

Volleyball Ireland are excited to announce a Volleyball-first partnership with FabLittleBag who believes periods should not be a barrier to sports participation. FabLittleBag provide sustainably sourced disposal bags for tampons and pads, making managing periods easier, especially if the bins are unpleasant or simply not there! Ensuring easy responsible disposal is key to ensuring that women and girls do not ‘hold on’ which often leads to leakage, a dread of many athletes.

This August Ireland will host the Final Round of #EuroVolleyU20W, which will be the world’s first Period Supportive Volleyball event. Each participating team will receive a specially designed FabLittleBag full of period products so instead of athletes being worried about being “caught short” they can focus purely on their on-court performance. Supported by the Sport Ireland Campus, each changing room will be stocked with free products, and a range of education workshops will be delivered for players and coaches on menstrual cycle performance.

Emily Frazell, Ireland Senior Women’s Captain: “I love this idea and this partnership. I love the progressive conversation about what is such a normal and natural occurrence. I suppose some younger players or coaches may feel a little more uncomfortable having this conversation, but that’s why it is so important, and why it needs to happen. I really encourage all players and coaches to get educated – a little more understanding on something so basic can have a huge impact on performance.”

Research from Sport England shows that period anxiety contributes significantly to the exodus of teenage girls with 64% leaving sport before the age of 17. The lack of suitable facilities and taboo surrounding period talk further exacerbates the issue.

Emily Frazell, captain of the Irish senior women's national team, has praised the initiative

The #EuroVolleyU20W will be one of the most watched women’s sports events held in Ireland this year, with over 1 million viewers expected online. Powerhouses of the sport like Poland, Italy and Serbia will be heading to the Sport Ireland Campus from August 5 to 13. 

CEV President Aleksander Boričić was impressed with the development: “Volleyball truly is a sport for all, and we highly appreciate the initiative undertaken by Volleyball Ireland to support young female players so that they can focus solely on their performance as they compete at the highest level in the upcoming U20 continental championship. With their initiative, Volleyball Ireland are taking concrete action to make sure that these youngsters feel supported, empowered and as stress-free as possible as they aim high while representing their National Team at this historic Championship. What is even more impressive is that this action will be further expanded even beyond the European Championship to involve clubs, raise further awareness and educate players and coaches alike.”

Laura Connolly, Ireland’s U20 captain, added: “Representing Ireland is such an honour and privilege. In August we will be going up against some of the best players in the world – being able to focus solely on performance will make a huge difference to our team. I am proud that Volleyball Ireland is taking this first step for the sport, and I am sure the girls from the other competing nations will be incredibly appreciative of this initiative.”

Laura Connolly is looking forward to representing Ireland on home soil

Volleyball Ireland President Clodagh NicCanna said, “Ireland might not always be able to lead Volleyball on the court, but I think this is a huge step forward off the court. I am so proud we are the first to do this, and to lead the world. I hope other Volleyball events and sports follow our lead, making their major international events period-supportive.”

Volleyball Ireland Chief Executive, Gary Stewart added, “We want to start the conversation on this subject within Volleyball, to really reduce the stigma and taboo around it. Alongside this promotion, we will be running workshops for players, coaches and parents around menstrual cycle performance. It is all about education. We hope all Volleyball clubs will become period-supportive ahead of the new season. This is such a simple idea, and in hindsight should be part of hosting any event. I expect this is the start of the new normal.”

Martha Silcott is the CEO and founder of FabLittleBag: “FabLittleBag is so excited to welcome Volleyball Ireland to our Period Supportive Movement. In August this year they will hold Europe’s 1st Period Supportive Championship Event when European countries flock Ireland for this year’s #EuroVolleyU20W. Our bags full of period products and FabLittleBags for responsible disposal will ensure that periods will not be a barrier to participation nor interfere with the focus needed to perform at one’s best. I am delighted to work with Gary Stewart who is passionate about making positive changes to ensure that women and girls feel welcomed, and that their basic needs are addressed. We look forward to working with all the clubs as Volleyball Ireland sets a new standard of menstrual care in the sport.”

Tickets for #EuroVolleyU20W are on sale now at VolleyballIreland.com.