Friday 9 December 2016

Sportswomen have a right to proper, modern facilities

Published 25/08/2015 | 02:30

Ireland’s Six Nations’ winning captain Niamh Briggs. But are we doing enough to encourage women in sport?
Ireland’s Six Nations’ winning captain Niamh Briggs. But are we doing enough to encourage women in sport?

The lack of proper private changing facilities for women in sports stadiums was recently brought to my attention by a friend whose young daughter was interested in rugby. Unfortunately, she was deterred at the outset from her dream sport on experiencing embarrassment and fear in the changing room, all for want of these basic necessities. On this occasion a quick change was necessary for a female game, after a male one had just finished.

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So many women are now involved in a variety of competitive sport that it's natural to expect they should be equally encouraged and appreciated as their male counterparts. This is obviously not so in the provision of first-class private ladies' changing cubicles, showers, toilets and coaching rooms in many stadiums.

The influx of women to competitive sport and physical activities has been a gradual process over the past 20 years, and planners of new venues hadn't the foresight to grasp the rapidity of change and current demands. Hopefully the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh will be a true replica of modern essentials.

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