GB captain Hollie Pearne-Webb hailed a “big milestone for female sport” after the world hockey body changed the players’ kit rule to enable athletes to wear skirts, skorts or shorts at their convenience.
England and Great Britain Hockey players have led the way in calling for change, having already adopted new inclusive playing kit regulations at national level.
This new ruling from the International Hockey Federation (FIH) allows female athletes the freedom of choice of clothing to wear at future international competitions.
Pearne-Webb said: “We are really pleased with today’s news that we will have freedom of choice over the kit we wear in international competitions. We really appreciate the support of England and Great Britain Hockey, the FIH and the speed at which they have made this decision.
Read More: Does the skort still have a place in hockey?
“This is a big milestone for female sport, and we can all be proud that we, as well as the next generation of athletes, will have the choice for what makes them most comfortable.”
Following changes England Hockey had made to the national kit regulations in April — as well as athlete feedback from the GB women’s team on what they feel comfortable to play in — CEO Nick Pink and Pearne-Webb wrote to the FIH requesting that they review their kit regulations which until now enabled the wearing of skorts or shorts but not a combination of both in one team.
The FIH responded positively: female athletes will now be able to make individual choices to wear shorts, skorts or skirts. The only condition is that they are of the same colour and design.
England and Great Britain Hockey CEO, Nick Pink, said: “I want to thank the FIH for making this amendment to their regulations and providing female athletes the freedom of choice for what they wear in competition.
“We’re pleased to see that, through this decision by the FIH, this choice now extends to elite athletes in international competitions too. We’re proud to be supporting the whole hockey community from grassroots to elite level.”
Research undertaken by GB’s Tess Howard while at Durham University, showed that gendered sports kit had a significant impact on teenage girls dropping out of sport.
“No person should be put off participating in any sport based purely on what the uniform requires them to wear,” said Howard.