‘No good reason’: Norway beach handball stars vent frustrations after being slapped with fines for not wearing bikini bottoms

21 Jul, 2021 19:35

Two stars from Norway's women beach handball team appeared on British television to explain the furor that has surrounded their decision to wear shorts at the recent European Championships as opposed to bikini bottoms.

Tonya Lurstaad and Julia Bird both featured on the popular 'Lorraine' program on ITV, explaining how they had wanted to make the move "for a long time" and wished to "make a statement and change the regulation."

The Norwegian team had voiced opposition to their uniforms for the tournament held in Varnia, Bulgaria, last weekend with their main motives being the bikini bottoms made them feel "sexualized" and were uncomfortable for those on their period.

EHF regulations stressed they would be hit with a fine for covering more than 10cm of their bottoms.

As they were ready to take on Spain in their last match for the bronze medal, Norway decided to go for broke by using the shorts anyway, before being hit with a fine which totaled €1,500 ($1,768) – which and was branded "completely ridiculous" by their Minister of Culture and Equality Abid Raja. 

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Support from their federation, which will foot the bill, and others has been total too, as Lurstaad explained on UK TV.

"From our federation, there has been a lot of support," she said

"Every other federation as well - except the ones making the rules - have supported us. We're so thankful for the support."

Stressing that there was "no good reason" to wear the bikini to play beach handball, Lurstaad added: "We've just been told that this is the rule."

"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."

Bird pointed out the men's team have also been supportive as per forcing changes.

"People have been quite shocked that women today in 2021 can't choose what they want to wear. It's been overwhelming actually," she claimed.

"If the guys can do it in a t-shirt and shorts, we should be able to do it in the exact same outfit," insisted Lurstaad.

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