BVL In Assam: My First Experience As A Simply Periods Facilitator

Published on : April 25, 2024

Hello there! I am Renu Yadav, a sports nutritionist, yoga instructor, nutrition content writer, and simply period facilitator. Honestly, I never planned on becoming a facilitator as it is not my forte, but I always believed that learning never exhausts the mind. I took it quite seriously and embarked on becoming one. Despite my limited experience in this field, I never held myself back from trying new things, and that’s when the Simply Periods Facilitator program came my way. Within a couple of days of training and learning about menstruation and its impact on sports, our new cohort of simply period facilitators were all prepared to empower female athletes across the country, showing them that periods are nothing to shy away from but are their true strength.

My first experience as a Simply Period Facilitator was at the Brahmaputra Volleyball League in the Barpeta district of Assam. This grassroots league, spearheaded by Abhijit Bhattacharya, former captain of the Indian Volleyball team, was a true community celebration. Teams from various districts of Assam came together, creating a vibrant atmosphere filled with sportsmanship.

With nearly 500 athletes participating, including about 250 female athletes, it was an incredible opportunity as a period facilitator to connect with so many girls at once. Growing up in a city with access to menstrual health resources, I often took these essentials for granted. It never occurred to me that someone out there might lack even the basic necessities to manage their periods.

To ensure that the female athletes get the support they deserve, our team of Simply Period Facilitators, including Manasi, Anuja, Payal, and myself, joined forces to make it happen. Let me tell you, diving into an unfamiliar place can be a bit of a whirlwind, and at a grassroots event like this, we were constantly on our toes, making sure everything ran smoothly within our tight schedule. But you know what? Every ounce of effort was totally worth it when those sweet little girls walked through the door.

On the first day of conducting the session, I went in with the mindset of just delivering the content, teaching them something, and then heading out, kind of like I used to do during my college presentations. But I quickly realised that these were kids I was dealing with. They’re not afraid to show when they’re not interested, no matter how great your content is or who you are. I learned that within the first few minutes of the session, and it completely changed how I approached communicating with them in the days that followed. It became a two-way learning street,  they were teaching me just as much as I was teaching them.

But as you know in our country, talking openly about periods is still kind of a taboo. So, understandably, some of the girls, especially the older ones, were a bit hesitant to answer some questions or even touch the period products we had on display during our session, and that’s when my main goal became to create a safe space where they could feel comfortable talking about periods. The workshop wasn’t just about sharing knowledge; it was about giving these athletes the power to chase their dreams without any roadblocks. I wanted them to feel confident staying in school, speaking up to their family, coaches, or anyone else, and knowing it’s okay to ask for support when they need it.

At the end of it all, along with the incredible lessons they learned, they also received these reusable pads sponsored by Superbottoms. And let me tell you; they were just as eager to tear into those packages and figure out how to use them as I was! I mean, even after years of using all kinds of period products, the idea of a reusable pad was totally new to me. So yeah, maybe I’m not sure about everyone else, but I definitely felt like a curious little kid again for a few days there!

However, witnessing the grassroots reality for the first time opened my eyes to the importance of initiatives like Simply Periods. It highlighted the crucial need to educate female athletes about menstruation and ensure they have the support and resources they deserve.

Author Renu Yadav Currently diving deep into sports nutrition and management in Mysuru, Renu is preparing to bring fresh insights into women’s sports. She is keen on understanding the real-world challenges faced by female athletes to help them reach their pinnacle. Driven by the desire to make a tangible difference in the lives of female athletes through nutrition and education, Renu is excited to be a part of this.

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