Sharing Ideas that Do Good

Search by topic:

Gender inequality and injuries in womens contact sports.


Womens sport went professional more than 40 years ago and yet it is still heavily unfunded and supported. At the same time players are much more vulnerable to injury due to the lack of protective equipment due to gender bias around available products and designs. 

The focus for my project is to create a solution to reduce the risk of breast injuries in women's contact sport. I am designing a women's protective chest pad. I'm looking to find the right technical support  (what materials would be the most protective) and suitable manufacturers to bring this idea to life. Thank you

What do you think?

You must be logged in to post a comment.
Madeline Cunningham @ 2021.03.25 11:11 AM

Speak to the awesome Australian owned business by husband and wife team Brad and Donna Johnson at Zena Sport. 

Together they have been actively involved with the AFL for the past 25 years.  Brad is a former Captain of the Western Bulldogs and club games record holder, having played 364 games. 

Zena have developed working partnerships with leading bodies in the AFLW, Deakin University and Sports Medical Researchers.

jen@principals @ 2021.03.28 2:33 AM

Hey Bronti

Love this!

Might be worth reaching out to these guys for some further inspo:

gender equality in sport certainly has come a long way, but still a way to go!

Good luck! 

David Hauser @ Silicon Beach @ 2021.03.29 5:31 AM

I'm wondering if the protection does have to be integrated in the outer layer of the clothing?

Would one size fit all?

Would it make sense to combine it with a sports bra? 

ReadyFundGo @ 2021.03.30 5:53 AM

Well done Bronti what an excellent idea!

It sounds like you have lots of people offering to help which is great.

If you would like to look at crowdfunding at some point let us know and we would be happy to help.

With best wishes Jill

Deyan Stamatov @ 2021.03.30 8:28 PM
I think fixing the issues caused by gender bias within professional sports is a great idea. I think you'd have to look at the weight of any material used in the chest pad and how it impacts players as well.

Haroon Shahab @ 2021.04.17 12:01 AM
Hi Bronti, I appreciate your idea to design something that can avoid injuries to women. I hope you fulfill your dream to design protective equipment for women. Hope for the best

bronti @ 2021.04.22 5:59 AM

@Madeline Cunningham

Hey Madeline, I have just emailed and now I'm just waiting back for a response. Thank you so much for suggesting them it has been a great help to my design  

@ jen@principals

Thank you Jen, I emailed And have called them as well. They are perfect for the protective components for what I am after, a fantastic link. Thank you so much for this. Suzie is amazing ‘Gender equality in sport certainly has come a long way, but still a way to go!’ Yep, a long way to go but I am really interested to see how I can break the cycle of low participation due to poorly designed gender bias products. Fingers crossed. for this link. Will let you know how I get on but a huge piece of the puzzle is solved because of your suggestion. Thanks so much Jen 

David @ THNK 

Thank you David, good questions, only one way to find out and that is through prototyping and testing. THNK looks like an amazing organization, is there a location in Australia that I could get in contact with?

Jill @ ReadyFundGo

Thank you Jill, I had not even thought about funding my design. So thankyou - Ready Fund Go would be a great platform to not only test financial support but would help get my message out there. So yes pleaseI would love to learn more about crowdfunding through REadyFundGo, especially since you are based in Australia and being carbon neutral. I feel this really ties into what I am trying to achieve. If you could maybe so i could connect with you - send your email. 

Deyan Stamatov @ 

Thank you Deyan, yes will need to test materials and techniques to find the best combinations. Do you have anyone in sports textiles or in industrial textiles manufacturing that you know of that would be interested in collaborating with me?

Thank you everyone for your great suggestions and thoughts so far. Please feel free to send my idea out to anyone you think may be able to help protect our athletes and remove built in bias.  Stay tuned for more to come. Bronti

David Hauser @ Silicon Beach @ 2021.04.22 7:30 AM

Hi Madeline,

happy to have a chat with you and explore how THNK.innovation could possibly assist you with the product development.

Feel free to shoot me a mail on

Madeline Cunningham @ 2021.04.22 8:17 AM
Hi Bronti - get in touch with THNK.innovation

R Hainsworth @ 2021.04.26 12:01 PM
Great idea Bronti.  What are your next steps? Have you started prototyping?

bronti @ 2021.04.26 12:18 PM

R Hainsworth @

Hi Mrs Hainsworth, great question. Yes I have started to prototype my idea and seeing it come to life is very surreal!! Because my prototyping is with fabric that im not using for my MDP my next steps are to research and order the correct fabrics and materials. Also still trying to work out my final design for my idea which is why ive done multiple prototypes. Thanks Bronti 

Dave Ellis @ 2021.05.18 5:07 PM
Great timing for a project like this.  Do you have evidence of this problem of sport related breast injuries?  It would be great for you to have a famous female athlete to be the 'user' you can work with.  Check out GWS Women's AFL team for possible users.

R Hainsworth @ 2021.09.09 2:06 AM

Good morning Bronti, hope all is well with you and your family. 

Congratulations on your MDP journey. It has inspired a lot of discussion and postitive impact. We hope that being part of the UpRising initiative has been rewarding and meaningful for you. 

As we wrap up the trial phase of the UpRising initiative and head towards the awards night in November I have a few quick questions.  If you could answer these questoins in a comment below that would be so great. We want to understand how UpRising assisted you so that we can etter help next year's cohort of designers. We are also curious to know if there is anything further you would like to do with your project.

1.      What were two interesting things that you experienced or found as a result of being part of the UpRising? 

2.      How did UpRising help you with your project?

3.      What would you like to do with your project and what would help you get there?

4.      How did seeing other UpRising projects affect your designing and learning experience? 

5.      What would you like to see added to the UpRising initiative to better help next year's students?


One last thing, can you add in a ‘Start to Finish’ photo of your project? If you could stitch an image of your finsihed project next to your early drawing or prototype and update your post with this image that would be great

Congratulations once again and looking forward to seeing you in November. You have done an amazing job and we are very proud of the 2021 cohort. 

See you soon

IdeaSpies @ 2021.09.10 12:50 PM
Bronti- I just spoke with a Professor about your idea and he sent me this video link highlighting the problem you are trying to solve Congrats on having a very topical idea!

R Hainsworth @ 2021.11.20 8:54 AM

Congratulations on all of your hard work this year and for being the first year 12 design students to be part of The UpRising.  The 8 judges have been busy going through all the major design projects to decide which projects should be awarded hundreds of dollars in seed funding and mentoring, to take their project to the next level. The judges have used a points system, 3 points for the project they felt was the most impressive, 2 points for a second outstanding project and 1 point for a project that really resonated with them. Three projects will be awarded Seed funding and mentoring 

  • First Place $1000 Seed funding

  • Second place 750

  • Third place 500

The winners will be assisted with the continued development of their project next year by the very cool company Nectir

We are holding an Awards night to announce the winners and we would love to have you all there. It’s online so you can join in from wherever you are. 6pm - 7pm Thursday evening 9th December. 

Click here to get your tickets. 

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Wishing you the best of luck with your final exams. Awards night is on the 9th December

IdeaSpies @ 2023.08.13 4:22 PM

Bronti- Any update on your consulting opportunity with Bonds? How is product development going? It seems very timely given the Matildas' success.

Related Posts



Design and Technology Students Showcase their Ideas
18 April 2023 by IdeaSpies 0 Comments



UpRising 2023 is expanding around Australia
16 February 2023 by IdeaSpies 0 Comments



Shark Repellent Wetsuit, Surfboard and Attachable Device
17 June 2022 by Georgiaa 34 Comments

Why support us financially?

"Great ideas, research and innovation can come from anyone – so often the best ideas do not have a voice. IdeaSpies provides a platform for people to share ideas that create a better world"
David Thodey AO, Patron