“You are expected to fit into a blueprint which is usually male kit sizes relabelled and given to women – we all have very different bodies and are different women”.
Flyhawk, a brand-new sportswear company made for netballers by netballers, is looking to challenge the status quo and ensure every woman, girl and person is comfortable playing the sport, according to Ambassador Stacey Francis.
The West Coast Fever and England Roses defender joined visionary Steph Essex to launch Flyhawk earlier this year alongside inspirational international netballers Serena Guthrie MBE, Natalie Haythornthwaite and Jade Clarke.
Talking to The Inner Sanctum, Francis said netball would no longer be viewed as a tick-a-box sport.
“It may be a bit cliché but we’re all part of a community. There are so many different communities in and around netball – so we’re going to have one central brand with a passion and purpose for them,” she said.
“It isn’t just for the grassroots or professional players – it is all-encompassing.
“We wanted to create a kit for everybody. We all have very different bodies and are different women. Netball tends to be a bolt-on with other brands but we’re putting netball at the forefront.
“We are bringing a brand and product to a market that does not exist and is completely underrepresented.”
In Australia, one in two female athletes quit sport by 15, while 50 per cent of teenage girls quit sport by 17 despite more than two-thirds of these athletes acknowledging that sport can make them feel more confident.
According to Suncorp’s 2019 Australian Youth Confidence Report, self-image and confidence play a role in girls and women ending their sports careers early.
According to Greater Sport in the United Kingdom, eight of 10 girls with ‘low body esteem avoid seeing friends and family or trying out for a team or club’.
Francis said when speaking with Essex, they wanted the Flyhawk brand to be a global leader in this space.
“This is about saying ‘look at this phenomenal female athlete in netball – this is for her’.”