Lessons for coaches, PE teachers, caregivers and youth sport participants about menstrual health and sport/physical activity. Our lessons are inclusive of the LGTBQI+ community, diverse ethnicities, people with disabilities and people from various religious/cultural backgrounds.
We designed these lessons to be delivered in person or online, with flexible scheduling of seminars, webinars and hybrid courses. Our team has decades of experience teaching, from youth sport to postgraduate students to coaches. We have sessions designed for coaches’ education and/or directly with young athletes.
We are a social enterprise working to make menstrual health education accessible and available to youth sport clubs, schools, community organisations and charity groups. Toward that end, we are actively pursuing grants, government tenders and other sources of funding to make more of our resources open-access to the general public. Your support in this effort is appreciated.
Lesson I – The Complete Menstrual Cycle
Menstrual health education is usually centred on just one phase of the menstrual cycle – the menstruation phase. To truly understand menstrual health, we need to learn about the ebbs and flows of the complete cycle. Hormones change throughout the cycle, impacting the physical, emotional and mental health of all people who menstruate. In this lesson, we discuss how hormones change and make us feel, with specific focus on how that might impact sport and PE participation. Although the lesson explains the challenges of PMS and menstruation, we place special emphasis on “listening to your body” and recognizing the high energy phases too.
[Swedish Winter Sport Research Centre]
Lesson 2 – Tackling the Taboo
Across different cultures, menstruation is steeped in harmful myths and taboos. In this lesson, we try to break through those barriers and dismantle the stigma around menstruation. We help coaches and leaders learn how to begin conversations and build dialogue with athletes, participants and families.
Research indicates that cultural restrictions about menstruation is one of the key factors that drive girls away from sport during their teenage years. Busting out the myths is one key way to open the conversation and support young athletes. For coaches, especially men, this can be a challenging obstacle about understanding boundaries with their athletes. As this cartoon shows, boys and men are rarely invited to learn about the menstrual cycle. We have adapted games and activities to make it easier for coaches to work with their teams on this sensitive topic.
Lesson 3 – Period Products and Menstruation-Friendly Environments
Period products have been in the media lately, with new policies and campaigns to provide universal access and/or reduce taxes on these necessary products. Providing accessible, comfortable, reliable and environmentally-friendly menstrual products is an important part of supporting girls in sport. We talk about pads, tampons, cups, period pants/leggings and all types of menstrual care products.
In this lesson, we explain different types of products and how they might work best for different sports. For example, period pants, leggings and swimsuits are now on the market. We also talk about how coaches can prepare be prepared to support girls during travel, long competition days and when surprises happen. Finally, we advise on how to build menstruation-friendly environments in sport, including changing room design, access to toilet facilities and uniform policies.
Lesson 4 – Staying in the Game
Participation in sport drops dramatically for girls around the age of 12, the median age for the onset of menstruation. This lesson is about providing support for girls to keep them engaged in sport and physical activity through this puberty. We bring together all of the lessons and expand on broader issues such as access to sports bras, peer leadership, uniform policies and more.
Here, we provide lessons specific to the sporting context – how to listen to your body. As athletes, we are often in tune with how our bodies feel. We can help apply that knowledge to coping with menstrual symptoms. For young people just learning to manage menstruation, a bit of guidance and practical tips for coping with pain, cramps and low energy can be very helpful (e.g. stretching, nutrition, period tracking, etc.). Beyond keeping girls in the game, we extend this lesson to broader concepts about staying in tune with our physical, mental and emotional needs through adolescence.
To inquire about booking a session, contact us here.