The Zena Z1 protective vest was created by MAS Silueta, a subsidiary of MAS Holdings, and Zena Sport of Australia, and will be worn by the Aussie Belles (Australia's women's national goalball team) at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Reaction Injection Molding Technology (Impact 360 by Silueta) and Silicone Flocking are used to create impact protection wear.
The product innovation is in line with MAS' commitment to inclusion and empowerment, and also protects athletes, particularly in sports like goalball, where unintentional contact is more likely. According to research conducted by the University of Deakin's Centre for Sports Research, Zena Z1 absorbs up to 70% of impact energy, providing substantial protection to female athletes from rib and breast injuries, which are frequent in many sports, according to MAS Holdings.
The device provides high levels of protection and faster post-game recovery without sacrificing comfort or movement, and it has an ergonomic design. The protective vest is ultra-lightweight and can be worn for extended periods of time, while its superb fit and flexibility guarantee that it stays in place. It's already used in over 20 sports, including Australian football, rugby, goalball, skiing, handball, basketball, and a variety of combat sports.
The Australian Football League (AFL) and the Women's Basketball League in New Zealand and Australia have authorized the Zena Z1 as the sole protective garment for game day wear.
Silueta worked together with Brad and Donna Johnson, the creators of Zena Sport, in creating the protective vest, as they saw the need for an improved protective vest for female players playing in the AFL. Brad and Donna Johnson realized that female teenagers experience many rib and breast injuries that go unreported, despite their significance at a key time of physical development, after learning about the severe physical ramifications of impact sports via their own participation with the AFL. The Zena Z1 protective gear, developed by MAS Holdings and based on two patented technologies, is crucial in reducing this impact.
In addition, the product has a low environmental impact. MAS's Reaction Injection Molding Technology uses less energy than comparable processes, reducing the product's carbon impact while the unique rim technology reduces landfill trash when compared to previous technologies.
The product invention demonstrates MAS' experience in developing new, practical sports items, as well as its development into producing impact protection apparel for prominent worldwide brands. According to the press release, it also highlights the company's long-term commitment to female empowerment and inclusion.
Zena Sport's Brad Johnson, said that they’re enthusiastic about providing the essential safety for female athletes to perform at their best while ensuring minimum obstacles. It's been fantastic to discover a partner like MAS, whose product and tech skills have enabled them to bring this idea to reality.
MAS Silueta CEO, Ranesh Handunnethi, said that they’re pleased to assist Zena Sport in enabling the ‘Aussie Belles' goalball team at the next Paralympics with one of their newest products - the Zena Impact Protection Vest. Two of their top objectives and fundamental tenets that drive their innovation are empowering women and fostering inclusion. The Zena protective vest is an excellent example of a creative solution generated from this emphasis, and it represents yet another step ahead in their long-term value development journey.
Impact 360 by Silueta, a patented technology, and the licensed Silicone Flocking technology are used by MAS Silueta to develop modern wearable gear that increases the performance of its wearers. The Canterbury headguard and the Zena Sport line, as well as a variety of unique intimate wear goods, are some of the most well-known products developed as part of MAS Silueta's innovation push.
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