Case study - Zena Sport

Geelong-based Zena Sport is quite literally breaking the mould when it comes to new-age impact protection garments designed specifically for female athletes.

Brad Johnson – former AFL player and captain of the Western Bulldogs – and his wife, Donna Johnson, have developed a specifically designed vest for female athletes that protects the breast, chest and rib area.

The idea came about after the Johnsons identified a gap in the Australian sports market for gender-specific protective wear.

After successfully completing an Australian Sports Technologies Network Accelerator program, funded through LaunchVic, the Johnsons were on their way to success. The Accelerator program paired them with Deakin’s Centre for Sport Research to better understand breast trauma, which then allowed them to develop and test their breakthrough product.

Now, the vest is worn by some of Australia’s top AFLW players such as Daisy Pearce and Sabrina Frederick and has received further endorsement through partnerships with a range of sporting leagues, including NBL1, Softball Australia and NZ, Lacrosse Australia and Blind Sports Australia.

With no limit on the types of sports the vest can be used for – from boxing and martial arts to roller derby and gridiron – the sky is the limit for Brad and Donna, whose vision from the start has been to increase participation and protect women and girls from injury.

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Page last updated: 26 November 2021