Showpiece event at Gleneagles becomes first to provide free sanitary products
Female fans at the 2019 Solheim Cup will have free access to period products, as the biggest competition in women’s golf joins the fight against period inequality.
The move makes the Solheim Cup the first major golf competition to make sanitary products accessible and completely free of charge for all spectators.
The event, which is fully funded by the Scottish Government, will see the top female golfers from Europe and the USA face each other in team competition, takes place at Gleneagles’ PGA Centenary Course from September 9-15.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:
“The Solheim Cup is one of the most prestigious events in women’s sport and it’s fantastic it is leading the way in providing free period products during the event.
“It is important that high-profile sporting events support equality and remove the stigma surrounding periods.
“In 2018, we became the first government in the world to provide free sanitary products in schools, colleges and universities. The Solheim Cup team joins a number of organisations across the third, private and public sectors who are taking action to make period products available for free to those who need them.”
In recent years Scotland has become a world-leader in the fight against period injustice and in May 2018 access to products was expanded to include those on low incomes and who are in contact charities and community groups. Free sanitary products are also accessible at Scottish Government buildings and since January 2019 there has been a wider roll-out of access to products across local authorities, backed by additional funding.
The introduction of free period products at The 2019 Solheim Cup, through Scottish Government funding of the event, mirrors a greater awareness of the issue across sport.
In the UK, the On the Ball campaign has led the fight for free period products at football grounds. Having started their campaign at Scottish champions, Celtic, 91 clubs – including ones in England, Wales, Ireland, Germany, Brazil and the United States, are now On the Ball.
The group, which comprises of three female fans, Orlaith Duffy, Mikaela McKinley and Erin Slaven, have warmly welcomed the move by Solheim Cup organisers.
“We are delighted to see that the Solheim Cup team has made the decision to provide free period products for fans,” said a spokesperson for the campaign. “It is the biggest competition in the world in women’s golf and it’s fitting that they are leading the way in the sport.
“We’re delighted that this is happening this year – here, in our home country, at the Gleneagles. We faced opposition when we started our campaign but people now understand the impact lack of accessibility to period products can have on womens’ lives and in particular experiences at sporting events. Period products are just as important as toilet roll and soap so it’s fantastic to see clubs and now such prestigious competitions make them readily available for fans.
“Sport has always been a way of breaking down barriers and by providing a truly inclusive environment for women, it is again leading the way on this issue. We hope this move will inspire other sports and competitions to consider making the same simple, forward-thinking change!”
Being delivered by VisitScotland on behalf of The Scottish Government, The 2019 Solheim Cup will help to promote Scotland as an open and inclusive golf tourism and events destination, while also contributing to the drive for equality across sport and wider society domestically.
The Scottish Government’s aspiration is that The 2019 Solheim Cup is the biggest ever European edition of the event and the most family-focused golf event in history with around 100,000 spectators expected at Gleneagles and a host of activities for families and young people on site.
Adult tickets are available from just £25 with children under 16 able to attend for free when accompanied by an adult. For more information visit www.solheimcup2019.com