Articles / Meet Alice from the Ord Minnett Aussie Stingers

Meet Alice from the Ord Minnett Aussie Stingers

18.06.2024 3 Minutes
Meet Alice from the Ord Minnett Aussie Stingers

We are bloody proud to be the official period care partner of Waterpolo Australia.

As part of this partnership we recently sat down with Alice Williams, team member of the Olympic bound Ord Minnett Aussie Stingers to chat all things periods.  

Alice is about to embark on her Hello Period journey so we'll be checking back in on her switch to reusables in the coming months.  Stay tuned and GO THE STINGERS!


Age when you first got your period?

I first got my period at age 12 at a friend’s place. I felt something strange in my nether region, so I went to the bathroom and there she was. Stuffing toilet paper into my undies until it resembled a nappy, I went about my day as usual until I got home and told my mum. When having the ‘birds and the bees’ talk, a period wasn’t referred to in its plural form, so when I got it the first time I thought, “okay great I’ve had my period, ticked that box, gone forever now.” Safe to say it was a rude shock when it came back a month later…


What is your period story/thoughts on your period?

My period and I have had a tumultuous relationship. For the first five years, I had a very heavy period with cramps and mood swings. When training for my water polo career started becoming more advanced around the age of 16, my period then started to become far more irregular and unpredictable. It was also around this time that I was selected in the Senior Australian Women’s team for the first time, and soon found out that many of those athletes also had irregular periods. In a strange way, it made me feel validated, like I’d finally made it as an athlete. Little did I know that for me, this was a red flag for under-fuelling my body.

After speaking with my doctor and dietitian, they told me that I had ‘Low Energy Availability’, which occurs when you’re not getting enough food in for the level of training you’re required to do. This can significantly impact your performance and your period. Unaware that I wasn’t getting enough in, I honed in on my eating habits and used my period as a helpful tool to indicate whether I had fuelled properly. To track its frequency and my symptoms I use an app called Clue. Even with using all the tools to stay on top of it, I’m not perfect and there are times when it is still irregular, but I’m more aware of when it’s just late or when there’s cause for concern.


Do you have an embarrassing period story from work?

Of course, being in a swimming costume 90% of my life there have been many times where my tampon string would be hanging out or my period would run down my legs. I’m lucky that I have teammates that look out for each other and will give a nudge when these are happening.

My most embarrassing moment would be in a competition when we were in a line up about to walk out and sing the anthem and my period was going down my legs. I had to leg it to the bathroom, change my tampon and get back to the line-up in 5 seconds flat. I’m not a land athlete so this speed was no mean feat.

How does your period generally affect you at work?

My period has a huge impact on my job as an athlete. Our bodies are our job, keeping ourselves healthy, fit and able to train at 100% availability is paramount to our success, individually and as a team. Heavy periods, feeling lethargic, cramps, constipation etc. are just some of the symptoms I get that can make training more difficult. Being an athlete, I will only miss a session if I’m dead or dying, so training through these symptoms can affect my mood as well as my ability to perform at the highest level day in, day out.