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Enhanced protection for Paralympians

Zena Z1 absorbs up to 70% of the impact energy for female athletes.

24th August 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Tokyo

Sports/​Outdoor, Protective

As they aspire to make Paralympic history in Tokyo, the Australian women’s national goalball team will have enhanced protection with the new global benchmark in impact protection wear for women – Zena Z1.

This advanced impact protection wear is manufactured using silicone flocking and a reaction injection moulding technology, Impact 360, developed by MAS Silueta, part of South Asia’s largest apparel tech company, MAS Holdings.

The Zena Z1 also enjoys a favourable environmental footprint. The reaction injection moulding technology used by MAS has less energy consumption than other comparable techniques, while the patented rim technology helps reduce landfill waste.

Research carried out by the University of Deakin’s Centre for Sports Research indicates that Zena Z1 absorbs up to 70% of impact energy, providing significant protection for female athletes against rib and breast injuries, a common occurrence in many sports.

The product enables a high level of protection and faster post-game recovery without compromising on comfort and mobility, while also maintaining its ergonomic appeal. Being ultra-lightweight, the vest can be worn for long periods, while its excellent fit due to contouring and flexibility also ensure  it stays in place.

Zena Z1 is already used for more than 20 sports, including Australian football, rugby, goalball, skiing, handball, basketball and several combat sports and is the only protective garment approved for game day use by the Australian Football League (AFL) and the Women’s Basketball League in New Zealand and Australia.

In developing the protective vest, Silueta collaborated closely with the founders of Zena Sport, Brad and Donna Johnson. Having understood the significant physical implications of impact sports due to their personal involvement with the AFL, the Johnsons realised that female adolescents face many rib and breast injuries that go unreported, despite their impact at a critical stage of physical development.

“Providing necessary protection for female athletes to perform at their best while assuring minimal challenges, is something we are passionate about,” said Brad Johnson It has been great to find a partner like MAS, whose product and tech capabilities have helped us bring this dream to life.

MAS Silueta specializes in apparel ‘design-to-delivery’ and some of its more well-known products include the Canterbury headguard and the Zena Sport range.

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