University of Portsmouth breast health team who worked with England's Lionesses now working with national netball team

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University of Portsmouth researchers have been providing breast health support for an elite national sports team.

The university’s Research Group in Breast Health (RGBH) team was invited to give sports bra fittings for the England netball squad, known as Vitality Roses, ahead of this summer’s World Cup.

The fittings were held during the team’s preparation camp before the group fly out to South Africa. Each of the players saw an expert fitter from the RGBH, who were brought in by the team’s official partner and kit provider Nike.

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This is the first time the whole team have been fitted as a group ahead of a major tournament and each of them spent time talking about the importance of being fitted, how this can impact performance and the considerations when it comes to getting the right fit.

Brogan Jones in the University of Portsmouth’s Research Group in Breast Health lab. Picture from University of PortsmouthBrogan Jones in the University of Portsmouth’s Research Group in Breast Health lab. Picture from University of Portsmouth
Brogan Jones in the University of Portsmouth’s Research Group in Breast Health lab. Picture from University of Portsmouth

They were then expertly measured and received a couple of sports bras to try during their training sessions.

According to research from The Well HQ a well-fitted sports bra can improve performance by four per cent.

Senior research associate and head of the university’s bra testing unit, Brogan Jones said: “The university’s Research Group in Breast Health has been working in collaboration with elite athletes to improve breast education and bra support in sport, so female competitors can achieve their maximum potential.

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“Being invited to work with England Netball players as part of their partnership with Nike shows that the importance of this work isn’t going unnoticed, and continues to make a significant difference to performance and comfort.”

The Research Group in Breast Health, who provided bra and breast health advice for the England Lionesses and other Women’s World Cup 2023 football teams, uses its expertise in breast biomechanics to improve scientific knowledge of breast health, inform the development of breast related products and raise awareness of this important aspect of women’s health.

Vitality Roses co-captain Nat Metcalf added: “It’s been really useful to have this education and learn about what is the right sort of sports bra for me.

“The experts gave lots of advice on which type of sports bra we should wear, depending on our boob size, which I thought was really helpful.

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“We want to go into a game feeling really confident in the product that we’re wearing. For me, it’s just as important, if not more important, than the rest of the kit.”

Roses teammate Eleanor Cardwell, currently in Australia, has been vocal on social media about the importance of sports bras and has generated more than 600,000 views across Instagram and TikTok speaking about the issue.

“It’s fantastic that the whole team is getting fitted,” Cardwell added. “I remember doing this a few years ago and was surprised by how much I learnt.

“When I was growing up there wasn’t a lot of education around this and it wasn’t something that people would talk about. But now there’s a lot more happening in this space and it’s great that we can be more open about this topic.

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“Over the last year I have received so many wonderful messages from young girls and parents who say they feel empowered after hearing me speak about sports bras. If I can help more people feel comfortable playing sport, then that’s amazing.”