Softball Australia is pleased to welcome female protective wear manufacturers Zena Sport as an Official Partner of the national body.
Zena Sport is an Australian business run by husband and wife duo Donna and Brad Johnson, who have developed the most advanced female impact protection vest on the market providing breast and rib protection.
The Zena Performance Vests are extremely lightweight and supportive and with no restriction to movement hindering athletic performance.
As part of the partnership, Zena Sport will provide products to Softball Australia’s High Performance Women’s program, as well as offering a 10% discount on stock to all Softball Australia members.
“The Zena Performance Vest is an innovative product and we’re excited to welcome Zena Sport on board as an Official Partner,” said David Pryles, Chief Executive Officer at Softball Australia.
“Safety of our athletes is paramount so partnering with Zena Sport was a really simple choice for us.
“We look forward to providing another offer directly to our members with an Australian owned product in Zena Sport.”
A 364 game veteran of the AFL, Brad had a front row seat to the emergence of the AFLW and the occurrence of injuries in junior levels of the code.
It got he and his wife thinking about the number of adolescent girls playing heavy physical contact sport during such a critical stage of their physical development.
With very little data available on the risks of breast injury in contact sport they began a research study of their own. They began by meeting with current AFLW players as well as club officials.
A survey was then distributed to a cross-section of 300 females involved in women’s sport. The research showed a large number of female participants had received some form of breast or rib injury, yet it went unreported.
Together they decided there was a need for a protective garment in the market and felt a responsibility to educate females around the risks associated with breast injury due to contact sport.
“We’re excited to join Softball Australia in providing the Zena Performance Vest to both their athletes and members,” said Donna Johnson.
“We have an AFLW background but we’re rapt to be able to assist in athlete protection across other sports.
“So many other sports have that element of contact whether it be light or heavy and the Zena Performance Vest can cater to either.”