Women's athletics kit dilemma Watch

EmmaBurton
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I've recently been elected/volunteered to run the women's athletics team at my uni. One of the things I'd like to fix before the track and field season gets going again is to professionalise the way people are turned out by getting new uniforms.

Currently just over half the girls are running in racing briefs like these: Name:  1693_l.jpg
Views: 2016
Size:  32.1 KB. And the rest are in shorts like these: Name:  aeropic2.jpg
Views: 1422
Size:  29.0 KB. I think we'd look a lot more professional if we were all in the same kit, and because the briefs are generally associated with elite/professional athletes and the majority already wear them, I think they're the best option. Also I've read that they improve performance in certain disciplines (running, high jump etc) due to less wind resistance.

Everyone is happy with this except for two girls who are really strongly anti. They're saying the briefs are sexist, too skimpy etc. I don't get it, they show less than you would in the swimming team for instance. It's causing a lot of ill feeling, with the others saying they should put up with it, it's a majority decision, the new uniforms are fun and sexy etc.

Whatever I do now, someone will be offended. Some could even quit. And it's not as if we have good athletes coming out of our ears... Advice much appreciated!
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Pwn4g3_P13
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Okey - so you're talking about semi-professional level athletes, who haven't already been used to running in shorts/breifs?
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EmmaBurton
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Kind of. They're not professional, but have maybe run at club or county junior level. Maybe two thirds have run in briefs before, the rest only in shorts. I'm trying to get them all to wear briefs because I want the team to look more professional for the summer track and field season. Most of them are either really keen and looking forward to it or prepared to give it a go, but we have two who are veremently opposed and digging their heels in.
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Historophilia
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Well I have to admit that I would never wear what basically amount to knickers in full public view.

I think you're being unfair, some people just won't be comfortable wearing such skimpy clothing and you're putting them in a really difficult position by insisting on them wearing them.

Sport isn't about being 'fun and sexy', it's about being as good as you possibly can be and what you wear to cover your arse isn't part of that. Seriously, what you wear the the most trivial part of sporting activity.

I would say just let them wear what they want to, in time they may decide to switch to the briefs anyway, but if you force them into something they feel deeply uncomfortable with then they'll resent you for it.

Honestly, this whole situation looks like a mountain made out of a mole hill, if most people are happy to wear them let them, but you shouldn't force people to wear things that make them feel uncomfortable.
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Pwn4g3_P13
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(Original post by Historophilia)
Well I have to admit that I would never wear what basically amount to knickers in full public view.

Sport isn't about being 'fun and sexy', it's about being as good as you possibly can be and what you wear to cover your arse isn't part of that. Seriously, what you wear the the most trivial part of sporting activity.
Op never said anything about wanting to be 'fun and sexy' she was just commenting on what others had said. Its an athletics team. loose clothing causes wind resistance, can get caught can chafe, it's entirely normal to have that sort of uniform, it's a lot more than just whether it covers your arse or not.

I would just introduce both, with the same branding. it won't look mismatched. if it's anything like rowing people will quickly lose their self-consciousness
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KatieMM
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I've competed in cross country and track events at a level where pretty much all the female runners wear the briefs that Emma is referring to. So I can understand why some of the girls are a bit nervous, it does seem a bit daunting to be running about in what are really just a pair of pants. However they are as the post above mine says very practical from a performance point of view, I guarantee they will improve performance.

Last year I was lucky enough to get an athletics scholarship to a US university for a year and there, there just isn't any debate. They issue you with the pants, which they call "bun huggers" ("buns" being your butt cheeks...) and if you don't want to wear them, you don't join the team. There were girls who'd come from Bible belt colleges where they wore really baggy shorts on their athletics teams that really hated them at first but after 2-3 races there's no way they'd have gone back to the shorts.

So my advice is to ask the couple of girls who are anti the new uniform to give it a try, I bet they will be fine with it once they've got over their initial nerves. No way would I give them the choice of wearing shorts because if they have the option they will never get past that initial self consciousness enough to try the briefs.
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EmmaBurton
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(Original post by Historophilia)
Well I have to admit that I would never wear what basically amount to knickers in full public view.

I think you're being unfair, some people just won't be comfortable wearing such skimpy clothing and you're putting them in a really difficult position by insisting on them wearing them.

Sport isn't about being 'fun and sexy', it's about being as good as you possibly can be and what you wear to cover your arse isn't part of that. Seriously, what you wear the the most trivial part of sporting activity.

I would say just let them wear what they want to, in time they may decide to switch to the briefs anyway, but if you force them into something they feel deeply uncomfortable with then they'll resent you for it.

Honestly, this whole situation looks like a mountain made out of a mole hill, if most people are happy to wear them let them, but you shouldn't force people to wear things that make them feel uncomfortable.
This is the kind of kit we've got in mind: Name:  6794517150_24ab48de5d_b.jpg
Views: 4992
Size:  374.4 KB. It isn't all that revealing, I can't see why anyone would object to wearing it.
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EmmaBurton
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(Original post by KatieMM)
So my advice is to ask the couple of girls who are anti the new uniform to give it a try, I bet they will be fine with it once they've got over their initial nerves. No way would I give them the choice of wearing shorts because if they have the option they will never get past that initial self consciousness enough to try the briefs.
I'm thinking of asking them to go with the new uniform for maybe a month and see how they feel after that. We're going to meet up tonight to discuss it. Thanx for the idea .
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Historophilia
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(Original post by EmmaBurton)
This is the kind of kit we've got in mind: Name:  6794517150_24ab48de5d_b.jpg
Views: 4992
Size:  374.4 KB. It isn't all that revealing, I can't see why anyone would object to wearing it.
Not all that revealing? That's basically a bikini! I wouldn't be ok with wearing knickers and a sports bra in public, I really don't understand why you can't see why some people would be uncomfortable wearing that. Nothing is left to the imagination!
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KatieMM
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[QUOTE=Historophilia;36577889]Not all that revealing? That's basically a bikini! I wouldn't be ok with wearing knickers and a sports bra in public, I really don't understand why you can't see why some people would be uncomfortable wearing that. Nothing is left to the imagination![/QUO TE]

I don't see that, they're wearing more than they would be if they were on the swim or gymnastics teams. Especially the girl with her back to us as she's wearing a T-shirt rather than a sports bra. Emma, are you thinking of letting the team wear T-shirts over their briefs, like the girl in the green and black outfit? It seems to me a pretty good compromise as it means midriffs can be covered up, but without having to allow the wearing of shorts.
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plimsolls
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I find it odd that you say you can't understand why there would be objections to wearing those brief things whilst running in public... If you want to make a uniform mandatory, then fine, but you must understand that some may drop out because of it. I wouldn't wear tiny pants in public.
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EmmaBurton
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(Original post by plimsolls)
I find it odd that you say you can't understand why there would be objections to wearing those brief things whilst running in public... If you want to make a uniform mandatory, then fine, but you must understand that some may drop out because of it. I wouldn't wear tiny pants in public.
I can understand why someone who isn't used to that kind of sports kit would feel a bit apprehensive about wearing it in public the first time I guess. But remember these are people who've volunteered and been selected to represent their university in competition, so they're in reasomable shape, they're not size 16 lard-arses. Also, I guarantee every one of them wears a bikini on the beach or by the pool on holiday and goes swimming from time to time, wearing less than I'm asking them to wear on the team.
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EmmaBurton
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(Original post by KatieMM)
Emma, are you thinking of letting the team wear T-shirts over their briefs, like the girl in the green and black outfit? It seems to me a pretty good compromise as it means midriffs can be covered up, but without having to allow the wearing of shorts.
Maybe that would work. I think the sports bra-type tops are probably a bit better from the point of view of wind resistance etc and perhaps look more professional. But if the girls who are saying no to wearing briefs could wear vests/T-shirts like this Name:  6612021773_6520d062a6_b.jpg
Views: 4041
Size:  342.7 KB they would maybe feel rather less exposed, but would still have all the benefits that go with competing without shorts on.
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KatieMM
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Hi Emma, how did the meeting go on Friday? Did the two people who were anti the briefs change their minds? BTW I think your suggestion of the vests/T-shirts is a good compromise, the girl in the white vest isn't exposing much of herself at all and I can't imagine anyone objecting to that kind of uniform.
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EmmaBurton
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Firstly I made a bit of a gaffe, the get-together was Saturday night not Friday so I had a bit of a false start . Secondly I tried the suggestion of vest tops rather than sports bras. One of the two girls that so far has said no to the knickers said she'd be OK with them if she could wear a less revealing top but the other wouldn't budge. Then several of the field event girls said they really wanted the sports bras. I know where they're coming from, if you're doing a pole vault for instance, any loose clothing that hangs down and could brush against the bar could make the difference between success and failure and they're used to wearing this kind of kit.

One girl had an iPad with her and we went onto a few websites that sell athletics kit and in the end we found a company that does the vests but with lycra in them so they're form-fitting. They also customise them so we thought we'd order them long enough to cover up midriffs and maybe the tops of people's butts, like the girl in the white top in my post from Thursday. We also chose the briefs, good quality Nike ones, and everyone was looking forward to looking really professional as a team, even the one girl who had previously been adamant she would never compete in pants but had changed her mind due to the vests.

Then everyone started trying to cheer up the girl who was still saying she didn't want to run in knickers, only shorts, but she stormed off in a huff. Nobody has heard from her since then, so we're not sure what to think. She is the only person we've got who has been in a relay team at any serious level before so it would be nice to keep her in the team, but I'm not sure it's going to happen :mad:. She doesn't want the same as everyone else and doesn't seem at all flexible in going with the majority, so maybe she wouldn't have been much of a team player so perhaps it isn't a big loss.
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Marlo Stanfield
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(Original post by EmmaBurton)
Firstly I made a bit of a gaffe, the get-together was Saturday night not Friday so I had a bit of a false start . Secondly I tried the suggestion of vest tops rather than sports bras. One of the two girls that so far has said no to the knickers said she'd be OK with them if she could wear a less revealing top but the other wouldn't budge. Then several of the field event girls said they really wanted the sports bras. I know where they're coming from, if you're doing a pole vault for instance, any loose clothing that hangs down and could brush against the bar could make the difference between success and failure and they're used to wearing this kind of kit.

One girl had an iPad with her and we went onto a few websites that sell athletics kit and in the end we found a company that does the vests but with lycra in them so they're form-fitting. They also customise them so we thought we'd order them long enough to cover up midriffs and maybe the tops of people's butts, like the girl in the white top in my post from Thursday. We also chose the briefs, good quality Nike ones, and everyone was looking forward to looking really professional as a team, even the one girl who had previously been adamant she would never compete in pants but had changed her mind due to the vests.

Then everyone started trying to cheer up the girl who was still saying she didn't want to run in knickers, only shorts, but she stormed off in a huff. Nobody has heard from her since then, so we're not sure what to think. She is the only person we've got who has been in a relay team at any serious level before so it would be nice to keep her in the team, but I'm not sure it's going to happen :mad:. She doesn't want the same as everyone else and doesn't seem at all flexible in going with the majority, so maybe she wouldn't have been much of a team player so perhaps it isn't a big loss.
FFS you're not the US track team. Just let that girl wear what she wants, it's not as if she's suggesting wearing a fluorescent tracksuit.



Look at 3045, she's only gone and got to the olympic final and what's that, she's not wearing briefs?

The girl in your squad clearly just doesn't feel comfortable, so don't force her. And this comparison of what you wear swimming is odd. It's how the person feels in the specific instance. Would you feel comfortable wearing a bikini to a nightclub, no, of course you wouldn't.

And the bit in bold. Well, just read it back.
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EmmaBurton
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OK so there are a handful of top international athletes who compete in baggy shorts, like the one you've highlighted. I don't know but maybe she's from Kenya or some other country where there are religious restrictions on what women can wear.

You asked me to read back the bit in bold. I don't see what's unusual about it: 'she doesn't want the same as everyone else and doesn't seem at all flexible in going with the majority'. That's true. The girl who stormed out of the bar and isn't returning calls/texts is now in a minority of one and won't go with the choices the rest of us made for what kit we would order the team. Unless she changes her mind, she's going to be excluded from the team as a result. Whose fault? 100% hers!

Why do you talk about nightclubs? Obviously I wouldn't wear a bikini to one, but then I also wouldn't wear a baggy old tracksuit, I think it's courteous to dress according to the circumstances. In summer athletics, track and field events, competing between universities, most girls wear crop tops and either hot pants or briefs. We've gone for fitted vests/T-shirts and briefs, our uniform will be less revealing than a lot of the teams we'll be competing with.
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Marlo Stanfield
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(Original post by EmmaBurton)
OK so there are a handful of top international athletes who compete in baggy shorts, like the one you've highlighted. I don't know but maybe she's from Kenya or some other country where there are religious restrictions on what women can wear.

You asked me to read back the bit in bold. I don't see what's unusual about it: 'she doesn't want the same as everyone else and doesn't seem at all flexible in going with the majority'. That's true. The girl who stormed out of the bar and isn't returning calls/texts is now in a minority of one and won't go with the choices the rest of us made for what kit we would order the team. Unless she changes her mind, she's going to be excluded from the team as a result. Whose fault? 100% hers!

Why do you talk about nightclubs? Obviously I wouldn't wear a bikini to one, but then I also wouldn't wear a baggy old tracksuit, I think it's courteous to dress according to the circumstances. In summer athletics, track and field events, competing between universities, most girls wear crop tops and either hot pants or briefs. We've gone for fitted vests/T-shirts and briefs, our uniform will be less revealing than a lot of the teams we'll be competing with.
It's either one way or the other, it's not a matter of flexibility. Look, I just cannot see any justification for why she cannot wear shorts (of the same colour to the briefs you've chosen) which come up to the top of the things.
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EmmaBurton
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(Original post by Marlo Stanfield)
It's either one way or the other, it's not a matter of flexibility. Look, I just cannot see any justification for why she cannot wear shorts (of the same colour to the briefs you've chosen) which come up to the top of the things.
The main reason is that we're trying to get one standard uniform that everyone wears and not the half a dozen variations on a theme that passed for a kit last year. So either everyone is in shorts or we're all in briefs, and more people want briefs than shorts, plus they're better for performance.
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Marlo Stanfield
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(Original post by EmmaBurton)
The main reason is that we're trying to get one standard uniform that everyone wears and not the half a dozen variations on a theme that passed for a kit last year. So either everyone is in shorts or we're all in briefs, and more people want briefs than shorts, plus they're better for performance.
Yeah, I think everyone who's read the thread has got that!

It's just one girl who will be wearing the same coloured thigh-high shorts to your briefs - it's not half a dozen variations. You said yourself everyone else is fine with it, they'll all be matching. It's not like you're synchronized swimmers and she proposing to wear a full diving suit, all she's going to be doing is wearing slightly different shorts. What is your issue with that? TBH this smacks of complete *****iness more than anything. Maybe get the other girl to stand in the back of photos?
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