A women’s health coaching specialist has said she is “shocked” by news that the Republic of Ireland women’s team will continue to play in white shorts.
Numerous women’s teams have decided in recent months to abandon white as a kit colour for shorts after women said they did not like playing in them while they are on their period.
The FAI said it reached the decision after consultation with players but Margaret Walsh said she was bewildered by the decision.
“I’ve been shocked because it seems to be the norm that everyone is changing the colour at the minute,” she told Moncreiff.
There have been numerous studies over the years into keep women and young girls involved in sport.
One study in Britain found that 43% of teenage girls considered themselves ‘sporty’ in primary school but thought this no longer to be the case.
Most said they feared being judged while playing and Ms Walsh said the right kit can be a big help.
“A simple intervention like wearing a sports bra could basically prevent two thirds of girls dropping out of sport,” she said.
“And shorts are the same - it’s just another piece of equipment for athletes to have to wear.”
Ms Walsh has often raised the issue of white shorts with schools and clubs over the years and generally found the prospect of change is met with a “resounding yes”.
“If you’re 13 or 14 and you’ve just started to get your period, you typically won’t be able to use a tampon, so you’ll be using a sanitary towel,” she said.
“If you have shorts - that are already ridiculously short - jammed up your backside and they’re white, there’s not a chance you’re going to keep doing that… especially in those years because you’re going to be so body conscious.”
Teams that have switched from white to coloured shorts include Ireland women's rugby team, the England women's football team and Manchester City's women's team.
Main image: Women football players.