There's a petition running to get schoolgirls free, comfy sports bras

In the UK, PE is a compulsory subject under the National Curriculum at all key stages – but exercising without the right kit can be painful for teenage girls.

In fact, exercising without a sports bra can lead to breast pain and compromised performance, which can increase the risk of injury.

However, sports bras don’t come cheap and, with the current cost of living crisis, they certainly don’t seem like an essential item for struggling families.

But one athlete is determined to change this.

Boxer Fran Hennessy is now speaking out on the topic and has launched a petition for the government to support low-income families, by subsidising sports bras for schoolgirls.

According to new research by Women in Sport and activewear brand Stronger, a lack of a supportive sports bra is a key reason girls experience discomfort in PE.

Girls in the study said they felt anxious about breast comfort during sports at school and self-concious about movement. Many revealed they don’t feel they can jump or run, due to insufficient support, and 56% reported physical discomfort or pain when exercising as a result.

Whereas eight in 10 said that a sports bra helps them feel more comfortable when they exercise – but only 36% wear one during school sports.

This is partly because sports bras often aren’t featured on PE kit lists.

And sadly, 19% of the girls who don’t wear sports bras cannot afford one.

It’s clear something needs to change, so Fran is on a mission to do exactly this.

Her petition aims to stop schoolgirls from being excluded from sports by giving them access to affordable sports bras – as the majority say they would wear the piece of kit if they were offered it.

Fran said: ‘I wear a sports bra almost daily, which I am lucky enough to be able to afford. It’s upsetting that many girls can’t, who have dreams of a professional sporting career.

‘Sports bras are such an essential part of kit and they should be on all girls’ kit lists, no question. Without better access and education around sports bras, we could be jeopardising girls’ sporting careers, as they won’t feel comfortable or confident enough to excel in their chosen sport at a young age.’

The petition can be found here.

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