Female health training now mandatory for WSL and Championship clubs

Vicky Losada receives medical treatment
Vicky Losada of Brighton & Hove Albion receives medical treatment during a WSL match against Manchester United in February 2024. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Staff working in the Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship will now be required to complete mandatory female health training. The FA announced the new training to provide better support for athletes and their health.

The move aims to ramp up support for female athletes across football. This is part of a partnership between the leagues and The Well HQ, a specialist in delivering female health strategies.

The project first began in 2020. Players and staff shared their thoughts on what needed to change and submitted these to the FA. The recommendations expressed formulate the plans revealed this week.

The changes include the delivery of best practice guidelines on pregnancy, post-natal care, menstrual cycle health and pelvic health. Clubs will work closely with medical staff from the England women’s national team throughout 2024. This plan aligns approaches between clubs and medical staff.

Clubs will receive dedicated training on the latest evidence-based approaches to women’s health and how that applies to athletes. The clubs will also nominate a women’s health lead.

Change in female health training is welcome

Lionesses manager Sarina Wiegman described the plans as ‘another step in the right direction’ for the women’s game.

“It’s really good and also very necessary,” she told the BBC. “It has been said all the time there needs to be more research about women in sport and more support too. We have to keep going and doing research, which will take time to make it the best for women in sport. We need to do what’s best for them.”

Embed from Getty Images

Dr Emma Ross, chief scientific officer at The Well HQ agreed with Wiegman. She said the partnership is a ‘huge’ moment for the women’s professional game in England.

“It will pave the way for what best practice looks like in the future across all sports — everybody involved should all be very proud that they have played their part in changing sport for women today,” she said.

“We need to be brave enough to challenge the status quo, to kick ‘the way we have always done things’ into touch and forge a new hopeful future where women can thrive.”

Andy Hudson, performance support manager for The FA’s Women Professional Game strategy, promised: “This is just the start of our research in this area. We look forward to continuing our work with them as we aim to improve education around our athletes’ physical health.”

MORE from Her Football Hub: