Players from Norway’s beach handball team have said there is ‘no good reason’ why they have to wear bikinis to compete, after they were fined for ditching skimpy bottoms for non-regulation shorts earlier this week.
Tonya Lurstaad and Julia Bird appeared on Lorraine earlier today, telling guest host Ranvir Singh they had wanted to swap the skimpy outfit for a uniform similar to the men’s shorts and t-shirts ‘for a long time’ and adding: ‘We wanted to make a statement and change the regulation.’
Earlier this week, the Scandinavians wore shorts instead of the bikini required by the International Handball Federation’s (IHF) rules in their bronze medal match against Spain at the European Beach Handball Championship in Varna, Bulgaria.
The Disciplinary Committee of the European Handball Federation (EHF) on Monday fined the team 1,500 euros (£1,300), or 150 euros (£130) per player.
Speaking on the programme Tonya explained: ‘For our federation, there has been a lot of support.
‘Every other federation as well – except the ones making the rules have supported us. We’re so thankful for the support.’
The women said they had been given ‘no good reason’ for why they had to wear a bikini to play the sport, with Tonya adding: ‘We’ve just been told that this is the rule.’
Tonya added: ‘We want to grow this sport so everyone can feel they want to participate.
‘Because of body insecurities, a lot of women just say, “No, I don’t want to do this”. And that’s really sad.’
Julia said the men’s team had also been supportive in making the changes, adding: ‘People have been quite shocked that women today in 2021 can’t choose what they want to wear. It’s been overwhelming actually.’