In the world of sports, the thrill of competition often overshadows a less glamorous but equally essential aspect – injury prevention. The notion of preventing injuries takes centre stage in this blog post as we delve into the profound benefits of proactive care over-reactive recovery. We will also share the inspiring story of AUAU Athletics® (formerly known as STEAKS® Contact Wear), a company that emerged from the ashes of a roller derby injury, highlighting the transformative power of protective gear.
The Injury-Prevention Paradox
In sports, the pursuit of victory is relentless. Athletes push their limits, aiming for greatness, and in this journey, injuries are often seen as inevitable casualties. However, the injury-prevention paradox reminds us that it is more logical and beneficial to prevent injuries than to endure the gruelling process of recovery.
Strategies and Techniques for Sports Injury Prevention
The road to injury prevention is paved with multiple strategies and techniques, each playing a vital role in protecting athletes. Among these, proper training, cooldown routines, adequate rest and recovery, and nutrition and hydration take centre stage. Yet, one aspect often overlooked but instrumental in avoiding injuries is incorporating protective athletic wear in one's protective gear.
Behold! The bruise that started it all back in 2013. While the area used to resemble a galaxy, it still displays scarred tissue and a lump more than ten years later.
The Birth of AUAU Athletics®
The story of AUAU Athletics® is a testament to the transformative power of injury prevention. Almost a decade ago, in 2013, our founder Suvi left the Malmö Derby Festival with a massive bruise on the side of her bum after a roller derby game. This injury served as the catalyst for change. It led to the invention of the crash pants known as 'Basic Crash Shorts,' designed to protect athletes from hip and coccyx injuries with impact material capable of absorbing up to 90% of the impact force.
The Extensive Downtime
The roller derby injury inflicted significant downtime, hindering Suvi's return to training for quite some time. It became evident that these protective products were not just a personal necessity but a broader need. In the past decade, we have witnessed numerous cases like Suvi's, where athletes were unaware of protective apparel or underestimated its importance. Seemingly minor crashes or tackles resulted in extensive downtime, impacting not only physical health but also the mental well-being of athletes. And then these effects can linger around for ages. After ten years, Suvi’s bruised area still displays a lump and scarred tissue.
We are no longer STEAKS® Contact Wear but still dedicated to Injury Prevention. Our first product as AUAU Athletics® is the AAVA Armoured Sports Bra.
AUAU Athletics®' Journey to Injury Prevention
Our journey from STEAKS® Contact Wear to AUAU Athletics® represents a commitment to injury prevention. We have seen firsthand how proper protective athletic wear can expedite an athlete's return to training and eliminate the mental barriers caused by fear. For many athletes, these barriers, arising from the experience of injury, have led to the abandonment of their beloved sports, which can have a significant impact on mental well-being.
We would not be surprised if you have never given protective athletic wear any thought. For one - as this 2002 paper suggests - “injury is just part of the game” (D J Chalmers, Injury prevention in sport: not yet part of the game?; Injury Prevention 2002; 8(Suppl IV): iv22–iv25). Additionally, Injury Prevention Research seems to be a very complex topic, as a 2010 study from the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine demonstrated (Martin Klügl,* Ian Shrier, MD, PhD,† Kellen McBain, BS,* Rebecca Shultz PhD,* Willem H. Meeuwisse, MD, PhD,‡ Daniel Garza, MD,* and Gordon O. Matheson, MD, PhD* The Prevention of Sport Injury: An Analysis of 12 000 Published Manuscripts; Clin J Sport Med 2010;20:407–412).
Broadening the Conversation on Injury Prevention
In conclusion, the significance of injury prevention cannot be understated. Avoiding injuries is not only healthier but also more productive than dealing with their aftermath. It is time to broaden the conversation on injury prevention and the essential role of protective athletic wear in this narrative. As we continue our mission at AUAU Athletics®, we aim to provide athletes with the tools they need to perform at their best while staying safe.
We expect to announce when the AAVA Armoured Sports Bra will be available in our online shop soon. Sign up for our mailing list to be informed about the AAVA release date. If you have any questions about the AAVA fit, feel free to contact us. We will help you pick the correct size.