adidas tackles taboos to help those who menstruate, stay in play

adidas unveiled its latest product innovation designed to keep more menstruators in sport: the new TechFit Period Proof tights.

The tights feature an absorbent layer to help protect against leaks when worn with a tampon or pad.

And in response to calls from teachers and athletes for more information on the topic of menstruation, adidas has collaborated with Dr. Georgie Bruinvels to create free resources and lesson plans for schools around the world.

Overcoming barriers

The first step was to understand what physical, emotional and societal barriers exist to sports participation.

Analysing data from over 14,000 athletes found that even those at the top of their field didn’t learn about – or talk about – periods in sport at school or with their coaches.

And adidas found that teenage girls are dropping out of sport at an alarming rate, with one of the key reasons being fear of period leakage.

To break this taboo and normalise period conversation, adidas has partnered with leading sports research scientist, Dr. Georgie Bruinvels, and Physical Education teachers to develop educational materials and practical lesson plans.

“Given the impact that the menstrual cycle can have on participation and overall quality of life, this must change,” says Dr Bruinvels, who is the Director of Sports Science and Female Athlete Lead at Orreco.

Education is the ultimate starting point whereby those who menstruate can be empowered by an increased understanding of an essential physiological process. Education will enable progressive discussion, helping to break down barriers associated with physical activity and the menstrual cycle.”

The aim is to use this material in schools around the world, helping teachers, parents and teens better understand how to navigate their cycle.

Technology solution

Using these insights, adidas also set out to create a product that helps athletes stay in sport throughout their cycle by giving them an added layer of protection.

Following over two years of development and rigorous testing, the TechFit Period Proof Tights now include Flow Shield technology – a set of absorbent layers and a membrane that help protect against leaks, giving athletes added confidence while training through their period.

A wicking layer, absorbing layer and leak-proof layer work together to provide protection, while a bonding frame holds each layer together and keeps the tights in place.

The TechFit Period Proof collection is currently available on adidas.co.za and in select adidas concept stores.

Author: Pedro van Gaalen

When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.

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