Australian sportswear company Benchwarmers are targeting the issue of soft tissue injuries through their innovative product.
The company estimates that hamstring strain injuries account for 12-16% of all injuries in English, Australian and New Zealand professional Football. A key component of this can come from a players’ time on the bench.
Traditionally played as a winter sport, amateur soccer players are at risk of injury in cold conditions.
Speaking to product creator Andrew Lauder, the body length sportswear came about from noticing an increase in hamstring injuries at local level.
“We noticed kids and adults going out with hamstrings,” Lauder told Soccerscne.
“They’re sitting on these cold benches that are on parks everywhere, and they don’t really warm up. They just go out on the field and then they’ve pulled up with a hamstring.
“Two and two doesn’t take rocket science to figure out – sitting and cooling those muscles down and then using them straight away is fraught with danger.”
Designed for local and amateur players, Lauder wants to mitigate the risk associated at those levels. While elite athletes have access to the best medical staff, he doesn’t want to see younger players at risk.
“At amateur and junior level, we don’t have proper medical staff or people that understand body mechanisms, and they just send the kids or amateurs out,” Lauder continued.
“That’s when it pulls them all out. Benchwarmers is more just to say, ‘hey keep them warm’. A lot of them throw a hoodie on, but the legs and everything are still exposed.
“The main things that they are using all the time are the calves, quads and the hamstrings. We found it to be a very important thing.
“In junior and amateur level, when some of these guys and girls get hurt, they go into shock. They put them on the bench and have one of the medical staff looking at them who’s not really experienced, they might be a parent who’s done a course.”
Being custom-made, Benchwarmers offer a ultra-lightweight solution that includes insulated inside pockets, a hood, resistance to water and wind, and fully fleeced lining for extra warmth.