England Netball and Nike unite during the  Netball World Cup to support Breast Health Education and tackle drop off rate amongst teens

As the Netball World Cup gets underway in South Africa, England Netball have announced a collaboration with their Official Kit Supplier Nike that will see both organisations continue to champion women’s sport through the governing body’s game changing and existing NETBALLHer initiative.

The new Netball World Cup related activity is in response to recent research which confirmed that breast issues amongst teenage girls are a significant barrier to participation.

A study by The University of Portsmouth Research Group showed that 87% of teens reported breast issues such as pain, movement, poor bra fit or embarrassment, prohibited them from exercising. In addition, most young women didn’t sufficiently understand the importance of a sports bra or how it should be fitted.

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The aim of the new initiative is to create a healthier, happier and more informed Netball Family through the provision of free sports bras to 14-17-year-olds – the age group who make up the highest drop-out rate from the sport. For every goal the Vitality Roses score during the Netball World Cup, Nike and England Netball are pledging a free sports bra to teenage players who currently play at the Roses’ first clubs, located across the country.

As well as the provision of free sports bras, the programme aims to reinforce the need to ensure girls have the correct sports bra fit as part of promoting better breast health education amongst teenage girls. Nike will also be working with England Netball to create a dedicated Sports Bra section on the online England Netball Store, that will go live during the Netball World Cup.

The Netball World Cup takes place from 28 July – 6 August 2023. England go into the tournament as the third ranked side in the world and will be looking to make history as they aim to make their very first Final.

England Netball Executive Lead for NETBALLHer Kelly Gordon said: “Having the right sports bra and being educated on breast health is all too often an overlooked aspect of adolescent wellbeing. It’s staggering that a lack of adequate education can result in so many youngsters dropping out of sport and never being able to embrace their full sporting potential.

“We believe that every teenager has the right to the correct resources and education to support their passion for sport, and so we are thrilled to be able to provide information through our NETBALLHer programme, as well as bring this fantastic initiative to life just as the Netball World Cup throws our sport back into the spotlight.”

The activity comes off the back of a specialist Vitality Roses bra fitting session managed by The University of Portsmouth as part of the team’s Netball World Cup preparations, a first of its kind. The entire team were fitted by experts, and each player spent time talking about the importance of being fitted, how this can impact performance and the considerations when it comes to getting the right fit.

Watch the Vitality Roses in Netball World Cup action this week:

  • Friday 28 July at 7pm: Vitality Roses v Barbados on Sky Sports Mix, Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports YouTube
  • Saturday 29 July at 5pm: Vitality Roses v Malawi on Sky Sports Mix and Sky Sports Arena
  • Sunday 30 July at 3pm: Vitality Roses v Scotland on Sky Sports Mix, Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports YouTube

To learn more about sports bras and the importance of breast health, visit https://netballher.co.uk/bras-and-kit/sports-bra-how-to-get-the-perfect-fit/.

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