Worthing United girls’ call for action over male-only toilets at recreation ground

Jason NIcholls with Worthing United girls' team members
Jason NIcholls with Worthing United girls' team members

Girl footballers are waving the red card at officials over the lack of toilet and changing facilities at their council-owned ground.

About 30 girls are members of Worthing United’s youth section and many play matches at Hill Barn Recreation Ground, in Sanditon Way.

Jason NIcholls with Worthing United girls' team members

Jason NIcholls with Worthing United girls' team members

But the outdated clubhouse features male-only toilets and changing facilities.

Club chairman Jason Nicholls said: “It is not fair that our girls should be forced to either cross their legs or use the male-only toilets.”

Mr Nicholls met Worthing Borough Council leader Dan Humphreys in September to discuss his concerns about the ground, in Sanditon Way.

He said: “Back in September we needed urgent action to ensure the girls had toilet facilities for this season.

“We met with the leader of the council where he agreed the situation was ‘not good enough’. However we are now in mid-February and nothing has happened.”

Mr Nicholls said the current male-only status of Hill Barn’s facilities was unacceptable, not only for the club’s 30 girls but also fans.

He explained that when female fans came down to support the youth teams, they had nowhere to go to the bathroom – and neither did the visiting teams.

Currently, girls had to walk past the open male shower and changing facilities to use the toilet, he said, and the club had to ensure an adult escorted players to the bathroom, waiting outside for them.

With the club’s girls’ section constantly growing and the club having an agreement to use the ground until 2026, Mr Nicholls said the issue was not going away.

“If this was a more high-profile building like Splashpoint it would be a much higher priority,” he said. “It is unfair to the girls.”

When asked about the lack of action, Mr Humphreys told the Herald: “We want to upgrade them but it will take time. Hill Barn is something we can improve.”