Manchester City Women have unveiled a new research collaboration with the English Institute of Sport (EIS) in order to accelerate the understanding of female athlete health and ‘further explore how to optimise training and performance support’.
The pair say much of the research across women’s football - as well as other sports - is in its infancy, which means professional teams are often unable to access detailed insights.
A new piece of technology - Hormonix, which is provided by the EIS and developed by Mint Diagnostics - will provide Manchester City Women’s first team players with access to 'rapid and accurate' information on their hormone levels, which the group say will give players ad coaches a much greater understanding of how their menstrual cycles may influence health and performance.
The EIS provides support services to more than 40 high performance sports across the UK, and says this research-sharing collaboration with the Barclays FA Women's Super League club will aim to further increase testing and applied research that could benefit the whole sporting system.
“I’m really happy to be able to take part in this study – menstruation has always been a taboo subject, but it shouldn’t be as it’s a key part of life for women, especially those who are professional athletes,” said Manchester City and England captain Steph Houghton.
“Throughout my time in the game, there has been a real lack of information and research surrounding female athletes and the effect of hormone levels on performance, and it’s incredibly exciting that we’re able to now do some real work on it.
“Manchester City make sure that we have everything we need to reach our optimum, but the fact that they’re now going a step further into an area where the surface has barely been scratched is so important and speaks volumes about how highly the club values its women’s team
“Hopefully, this collaboration can have a real impact on how we tailor our approach to the game around our own individual bodies to grow the levels of elite female sport even further.”
Dr James McCarron, Head of Sports Science & Medicine, Manchester City Women, added: “Our overarching performance vision is to win the hearts and minds of fans and future footballers around the world through pioneering performances of high skill played at high intensity.
“Advancing our understanding of female athlete health is paramount to realising this ambition and by collaborating with world-leading experts at the EIS, we are accelerating our learning in the space.
“This project is at the forefront of both science and application – the learnings of which can not only support players, but staff working with female athletes as well.”