Celtic fan campaign that led to free sanitary products at stadium delighted after 100 other clubs sign up

Celtic fans who campaigned to get free sanitary products in the club's grounds are celebrating getting 100 football clubs around the world to join up too.

The campaign which began at Celtic Park, has now gone global.
The campaign which began at Celtic Park, has now gone global.

The campaign, On the Ball, has seen free tampons and sanitary towels made available to fans in the Parkhead ground - with the drive also being taken up by city rivals Rangers.

It has now gone global, with LA Galaxy taking up the initiative and German club Altonear FC getting involved.

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Premier League clubs West Ham and Liverpool have also pledged support for the campaign, which also aimed to increase the visibility and voice of female fans, remove the stigma around periods, and raise awareness of 'period poverty'.

Shocking research showed one in ten British women were unable to afford sanitary products,a survey from 2017 showed - with some even having to improvise using newspapers or socks.

The campaign was set up by Hoops-daft pals, Orlaith Duffy, Erin Slaven, and Mikaela McKinley, who now hope it will be rolled out in pubs and restaurants.

Social sciences graduate Erin said: "We never imagined we'd get to 100 clubs on board.

"I remember getting to five clubs and being so surprised, but it's just spiralled out of control and it's such a thrill.

"We said from the start that we hoped football leading the way would get people taking our campaign into their own lives and implement it in whatever way they can - in pubs and restaurants and things like that.

"We always get asked things like, 'If you can afford a ticket, can you not afford tampons?' but we feel like football is such a big business, it's all about money and influence, so why not use that influence to make a difference.

"Football clubs taking a lead on this puts the spotlight on period poverty and makes people aware of what is a real complex issue for many people."It was launched 18 months ago and was enthusiastically backed by Celtic, which said it was 'delighted to be the first club in the UK to offer such a service'.

Erin added: "We knew it was a bit radical to go into a male-dominated environment and talk about periods, but we thought it would be effective and help remove the stigma and put it into public consciousness.

"We have had some really mad comments - people asking things like, 'Where is my shaving foam, where's the free pints and the pies?'.

"These are all things women use as well, might I add.

"Sometimes we reply to comments, but we approach it in a way to educate people and share our views while acknowledging the fact they won't always agree.

"We've actually managed to change some peoples' minds after getting into healthy debates.

"For modern day social media that is amazing."

Labour MSP Monica Lennon said: "The clubs themselves should be applauded for signing up to this.

"It's exciting to see progressive social change already happening in our communities."A spokesman for Celtic FC said: "When we were approached on this issue we were delighted to engage with the group on this project and of course we are delighted to become the first club in the UK to offer such a service.

"We congratulate Erin, Mikaela and Orlaith for all their work in this area and wish them every success on their wider, ongoing campaign."