Supporters’ group calls for free sanitary products at Carrow Road

Aerial view of Carrow Road, Norwich. Picture: Mike Page

Aerial view of Carrow Road, Norwich. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

Norwich City supporters have called on the football club to make free sanitary products available at Carrow Road.

Mandie Thorpe, vice chairman of the Canaries Trust, said a similar move had already been taken at Celtic FC and she would like to see steps taken to do the same in Norwich.

She said: 'Periods have been - and still are in some parts of the world - a taboo subject. Why? It's something that most women will go through regularly for a huge part of their adult life, so why is it such an awkward subject and why is the discussion around sanitary wear itself even more awkward?

'One in ten girls and young women in the UK are estimated to be unable to access sanitary wear.

'12pc have had to improvise their sanitary wear. I can't begin to imagine what that must feel like. That feeling of dread and embarrassment is bad enough once in a while, when it's potentially every month, it's horrific.'

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Ms Thorpe said she understood people would question what the issue has to do with football, but she said: 'In short it's not a specific, football-related issue. It goes much deeper than that.

'Last year, three friends connected through their love of Celtic FC, formed the group On The Ball, in order to petition for free sanitary protection at Celtic Park. With limited resources, they managed to gather thousands of signatures from fans supporting their initiative and Celtic decided to back it.

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'One common misconception is that if people can afford to go to games, then they can afford to buy the products themselves. Often tickets are given away through community and charity initiatives, so that argument doesn't always hold up.

'Secondly, what if you're caught short like I have been - having sanitary products available at matches isn't going to mean gaggles of women and young girls secreting them into their bags, they'll only use them if they need to. Lastly, it's the principle that these products should be available and free everywhere, in the same way that toilet roll and soap are provided as standard.

'Where football - and Norwich City, hopefully - can lead is in making it clear that these items are essential and not a luxury, the rest of society will hopefully follow.

As it stands, 74 clubs across all professional and semi-professional leagues have now signed up to this initiative - I think it's time Norwich City became the 75th.

'The Canaries Trust have already had discussions with the Club and we're looking forward to this initiative being rolled out in the future.'

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