Date: 8th March 2023, International Women’s Day

Three organisations who share a common goal to promote equal opportunity for women globally, Breast Research Australia, Fairbreak Global and The Sports Bra Project – are teaming up to run a world-first global women’s health project to maximise the breast health and quality of life of all women.

The project will disseminate breast health education and provide opportunity for women all around the world access to sports bras.

A sports bra is a fundamental piece of sports equipment to enable women to participate in sport or physical activity. Unfortunately, limited access to sports bras for many adolescent females and women across the world, limits them from enjoying the physical and mental health benefits of physical activity and sport.

Research conducted by Breast Research Australia has found that most female athletes have very poor health literacy about breast support and bra fit.

“We have conducted research in Australia on women of all ages and from multiple sports. We consistently found that females across all ages and activity levels have very poor knowledge about breast support and sports bras, and very poor ability to determine if their bra is supportive enough or fits correctly”.  Associate Professor Deirdre McGhee BPhty, PhD Member Australian College of Physiotherapists (Sports Physiotherapy) (ACP).

Shaun Martyn, Founder of Fairbreak Global said “Fairbreak is proud to be a trailblazer promoting and supporting women in cricket by giving female cricket players around the world access to breast health education and sports bras – which is currently seriously lacking in women’s cricket everywhere.

When we originally heard of the research and education conducted by Breast Research Australia, we financially supported them to present at the 2022 inaugural Fairbreak Invitational. Dierdre educated the international players from 31 countries that attended to improve their breast health knowledge and bra wearing behaviour.

The feedback from the players all over the world was extremely positive, none of the players had ever had any advice or guidelines on sports bras or bra fit and all felt that it was fundamental information and an essential piece of equipment for women’s cricket,” said Shaun.

 The major research findings were:

  • Cricket players require a high level of risk support because of demands of the game in terms of running, jumping and forceful arm movements.
  • Elite international female cricket players have very poor knowledge of breast health, sports bras and bra fit, and a very poor ability to independently choose a supportive and correctly fitted sports bra.
  • Access to breast health education is extremely limited in women’s sport across the world, irrespective of the level of sport and the socioeconomic status of the country.
  • Access to sports bras is a barrier for female participation in sport in some countries and within regions of other countries. Women in these countries require assistance and support to access sports bras, to enable females to participate in sport as well as to perform at full potential.

Australian female cricket player, Georgia Redmayne, attended the Fairbreak invitational last year and said “playing without a well-fitted sports bra is like playing without spikes or gloves. Every female athlete deserves that access no matter their background”.

The research impact of this project is affirmative action – “it is vital that we educate female athletes and active women/adolescents, all over the world, to empower them with the knowledge and ability to independently choose a supportive, well-fitting, comfortable sports bra. At the same time, we need to give all women equal opportunity to access sports bras. In the countries and regions of countries where access to sports bras is limited, we need to support these women and assist them with access to sports bras.” Associate Professor Deirdre McGhee

Sarah Dwyer-Shick, is the Founder of The Sports Bra Project, a charity growing globally providing sports bras to females around the world. 

“The Sports Bra Project is committed to increasing access to sports and normalising the needs and experiences of female athletes. Partnering with Fair Break Global and Breast Research Australia provides the perfect opportunity to both increase access and provide education on the importance a properly fitted sports bra plays in comfort, performance and maintaining breast health during physical activity.”

“We are excited to be working with these two great organisations and with Women’s Sport Australia to ensure that female athletes have the knowledge and equipment they need, a properly fitted sports bra, to pursue their athletic dreams.” Sarah Dwyer-Schick

Together, this team of three, Breast Research Australia, Fairbreak Global and The Sports Bra Project, through this world-first global women’s health project, aims to maximise the long-term breast health of women all over the world for their comfort, enjoyment, participation, and performance in sport.

They are working ‘with women to support women, globally’ and believe it’s an exciting opportunity for women who love sport to support other women so they can play sport too.

Fairbreak, Breast Research Australia and The Sports Bra Project passionately believe all women deserve the right to wear a supportive, correctly fitted, comfortable sports bra to enjoy the incredible physical and mental health benefits of sport and exercise.

HELP US to HELP THEM! If you would like to run a Sports Bra Drive or an organisation in need of sports bras go to this link for further information.