New shorts design aims to curb teenage girls dropping out of sport

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New Shorts Design Aims To Curb Teenage Girls Dropping Out Of Sport New Shorts Design Aims To Curb Teenage Girls Dropping Out Of Sport
Physical therapist Margaret Walsh has teamed up with Louth-based sportswear company Ferdia in designing the new range,
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Louise Walsh

An Irish fitness company and a physical therapist have undertaken to curb the amount of teenage girls who stop playing sports, by making non-white shorts designed to fit curves.

Physical therapist Margaret Walsh, who has long heralded the need for a specifically designed shorts and other functional sportswear for females, has teamed up with Louth-based sportswear company Ferdia in designing the new range.

The new shorts aim to adapt to fit teenage bodies as well as take the embarrassment away from young girls who often shy away from sports because they are afraid to play in ill-fitting shorts, especially white, while on a period.

Puberty

The mum-of-two is also pushing for more education and training for females in sport, especially for girls who hit puberty.

"When girls hit puberty, their hips will naturally widen and their waist gets narrow", she told the 11-1 show on LMFM Radio.

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"Many sports shorts are typically made with a tight waistband which will ride up to a girl's waist when she runs or moves.

"You'll notice at a game that when a girl runs for a ball for example, some will pull their shorts out of their backsides before they move. This then can affect their performance because of this “small” yet unnecessary distraction.

"Sports kits are meant to serve its function.

"A 13-year-old girl on her period probably can’t use a tampon at this age, so she is using a pad - and now wearing not only shorts that are jammed up her backside but can be also white.

Young women, especially teenagers tend to skip sports on a period

"This will lead to embarrassment and worry for the young girl, or actually a woman of any age to be honest in the same situation. So young women, especially teenagers tend to skip sports on a period."

Margaret Walsh's clip on TikTok about the issue has garnered almost 400,000 viewers, and many messages of support.

"Women have said that they thought they were too fat because the shorts were rising up their backside or that their body shape just didn't suit the shorts. Others thought that girls chose to
wear shorts that high and tight.

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"Other statistics show that close to 76 per cent of girls have dropped out of various types of sport because they were embarrassed about their boobs jiggling about and being uncomfortable and I say just strap them down. It’s that simple and would give support both physically and emotionally.

"I'm delighted to say that because of my ranting, I have been approached by Ferdia in Ardee who are working with me to design a correct fitting short, to fit a female's body through the whole
lifespan because the female body changes all the time.

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"This may be the beginning of a range of more functional wear for women from shorts to bras.

"Hopefully the range, which can be adapted for all sport, will help to stop the high statistics that say one in two drop out of sport after they hit puberty.

"In Ireland at the moment only between 5 - 7 per cent of girls aged 14-15 are reaching their physical activity requirements. There can be many factors, but perhaps supporting them through a pair of proper shorts can have a huge impact , which can affect their physical and mental health for a lifetime."

Ferdia said they are delighted to be working with Walsh on the project.

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