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Sports Bra Struggles- As A Youth Soccer Player (Part 1 of 7)

The creation of the Betts Fit Sports Bra really came about due to 5 key experiences in my life! In this 7 part series I will be sharing with you my journey to creating our patented sports bra technology. I share this to inspire and educate!

Imagine if you will it is the year 2000 just about 23 years after the first sports bra was developed which was made from 2 jockstraps sewn together. I am 16 years old and competing in a youth soccer tournament in Europe with my club team.   

First Sports Bra ever created was in 1977

Over that summer I went from being an B cup to a DD in no time. I barely even knew what a sports bra was or what boobs were. I was an athlete and to be honest a bit of a tomboy.  

We had entered the finals of our youth soccer tournament an exciting feat as this was an elite tournament inviting top teams from all around the world. Nearing the end of the first half the game was neck and neck with about 10 minutes to go and parents on both sidelines were becoming very excited. I was running like a madwoman up and down the field in my usual right mid position, giving it my all. For a moment I thought I had gained a fan of one of the parents on the other team. He was yelling at me very loudly. At first I couldn’t make out what he was saying and then there it was, “boom cha, boom cha boom cha.”  I wondered, could he be yelling this at me because I am fat? What is this supposed to mean I wondered? And then I realized it. He was yelling boom cha because my breasts were not being supported properly. He was unrelenting! This continued until half time when I finally ran off the field in tears, completely embarrassed. My coach came to console me and took the time to run across the field and scold the dad (Mr Boom Cha) for humiliating me!  

Sadly this was not an uncommon occurrence.  It even continued throughout college. I remember specifically a game against the university of Arizona. It was Halloween and the fraternity boys were out and about causing a raucous.  

I guess being an outside midfielder didn’t help me much as I was always pinned close to the touchline and close to the fans on that side. It was deja vu all over.  But this time much worse. Together about 20-30 guys were yelling "boom cha" at me. My coach actually moved me to the play left mid to avoid the harassment. I actually was now used to wearing three sports bras on top of each other as I was a 34DDD/F. On this trip in particular, I forgot my extra sports bras and was just wearing one. Sigh.

This has been an ongoing problem my whole life!  Turns out I am not alone.

In a study issued by the University of Portsmouth, 46% of 2,000 young girls said their breasts were a barrier to participating in sport.

Aimee Lewis discusses in article above how ten years ago it would have been difficult for women of cup sizes D and above to buy suitable sports bras, but there has since been an "explosion" in the market as manufacturers have grasped the need for good supportive, fashionable sports bras.

I couldn’t agree more.  However it is clear there is still a problem. One researcher, Jenny White, conducted a study that used women runners from the 2013 London Marathon. Trying to get a more accurate read on bra performance and comfort level, Jenny White recruited 1,300 runners to participate in the study WHILE running the race—an obviously different simulation than simply running in a lab. The shocking reality? 75% of marathoners reported having issues during training with their sports bras.”

It is clear to me after 16 years of struggles with sports bras and 5 years of in depth research that there was still a need for a better sports bra for athletic women.

Continue on to my next post in this series to further understand my experience from youth sports to college sports, and why I have set out to create the most comfortable, supportive and adaptable sports bra ever made.


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