The New Zealand women’s soccer team will swap their home kit’s white shorts for teal blue to ease players’ period anxieties, the country’s football association (NZF) said.
New Zealand will wear the kit in friendlies against Iceland on Friday and Nigeria next week and at the Women’s World Cup, which they will co-host with Australia from July 20 to August 20.
“The absence of white shorts now is fantastic for women with any kind of period anxiety,” New Zealand striker Hannah Wilkinson said.
“It’s always something that women athletes, not just footballers have had to deal with. In the end it just helps us focus more on performance and shows a recognition and appreciation of women’s health.”
NZF’s decision follows similar moves by the England women’s team, clubs including Manchester City and the Ireland women’s rugby team.
“It’s really important to us as players,” England’s Lauren Hemp said.
“It’s been in discussions for many years and it’s important that we feel confident whilst playing and this is a massive step in the right direction.
“We can feel comfortable when sometimes we might not have been if it’s your time in the month, so it’s great to move away from white shorts to not having that worry,” added Hemp, a forward for Manchester City.
“We can just concentrate on the games at hand.”
Former England player Anita Asante said the move from white shorts had been discussed probably “for generations”.
“As women, we’ve all experienced those moments where we’re uncomfortable. You’re going through your menstrual cycle and you’ve got to perform,” Asante said. (ABC)