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We are particularly worried about teenage girls, half of whom stop or significantly reduce their activity when they hit puberty. They spend an average of just 25 minutes per day on sport or exercise vs 40 minutes for boys. We wanted to change that. We worked with some of the leading academics in sports science and talked to hundreds of girls across the 170+ independent schools that use Squadkit. The results were clear. The major reason given for a reduction in sporting activity was breast discomfort – and yet 50% of teen girls don’t wear a sports bra. When we worked with the girls, they were vocal: sports bras were expensive, uncomfortable and difficult to get on and off. They didn’t work for teen girls and clearly hadn’t been designed for them. In fact, there was nothing on the market for this vital group. So, our task was to empower teen girls to keep playing sport by developing a sports bra for their growing bodies – a bra that addressed the unique problems they faced. It needed to be: Comfortable Many girls wanted to wear the same bra all day at school and simply tighten it up to give more support when it was time to ‘get active’. Adaptable Sports bras are expensive. As bodies change girls wanted a bra that changed with them and was super-adjustable. We achieved this with our unique ‘T-System’ which allows more than three sizes of adjustment. Discrete Easy to slip on and off with a simple front-fastening, so no more wrestling under the towel! Stylish On show or under clothing, every detail is important. We set to work collaborating with leading designers, manufacturers and testers, plus our own creative team, to develop a unique product – so unique, it’s now patented. We’ve tested it at the UK’s leading Breast Health Centre at the University of Portsmouth where it showed a 20% reduction in movement versus the most popular sports bra worn by teen girls (and almost 70% versus ‘no bra’). We know that the Limitless bra solves many girls’ problems, but we are not here to sell Limitless. We are here to ensure that nobody stops playing sport because they feel body-conscious or uncomfortable. There are other great sports bras available and our mission is to ensure that everyone understands how this simple garment can transform their experience. We are now working with educators and our partner schools to educate girls in the importance of exercise and how wearing a sports bra is a vital part of that. We are also developing a range of other products to encourage all young people – boys and girls – to stay active.
Squadkit – helping to build a confident and active generation. Find out more at www.squadkit.com [post_title] => Teen girls are 40% less active than boys – it doesn’t have to be this way [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => teen-girls-are-40-less-active-than-boys-it-doesnt-have-to-be-this-way [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-06-04 16:06:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-06-04 15:06:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://ie-today.co.uk/dashboard2/?p=24354 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 22735 [post_author] => 56 [post_date] => 2020-01-03 11:59:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-01-03 11:59:00 [post_content] =>

Now that we’re embedded into winter, we thought we’d turn the spotlight on the Squadkit technical fabrics that are designed for the colder, wetter, windier months on pitches and courts around the UK and Europe.

But if you’re thinking that winter simply equals warm plus waterproof, then you only have part of the picture. There are a few essential ingredients missing from the equation. Of course, warmth and waterproofing are important, but effective sportswear – particularly for young people – needs to be both robust and comfortable.

It has to be soft, while maintaining abrasion-proof qualities. It has to be ‘hydrophobic’ on the outside, while being able to simultaneously absorb sweat on the inside. It also needs to work with bodies that are still dealing with the fine art of ‘sweat management’ and accommodate more size combinations because bodies grow unevenly.

Our Squadkit buying team achieves this by working with some of the world’s leading fabric suppliers, renowned for operating at the forefront of technical innovation.

Our garments also have to work hard so we test each fabric rigorously for durability: our washing standards are set at 50 cycles against an industry standard of five, given that a core part of our kit is worn up to three or four times a week, if not more.

Finally, all of our sportswear is made in our own fabrics so that we can guarantee quality, colour-matching, consistency – and we can have full confidence in its performance. Here are five of the fabrics we use for our Squadkit sports kit:

[caption id="attachment_22738" align="alignnone" width="1000"]Climaskin Climaskin[/caption]

1. Climaskin – warmth and abrasion-resistance

Unlike base layers aimed at adult athletes, Climaskin is made from nylon, not polyester, which is three times more durable.

This makes it more abrasion-resistant and warmer – both essential qualities for base layers that protect younger, more sensitive – and therefore softer – skin. Climaskin has four-way stretch so that it sits close to the skin and works with the wearer, allowing protection with unrestricted movement.

[caption id="attachment_22739" align="alignnone" width="1000"]Stormtex Stormtex[/caption]

2. Stormtex – water- and wind-proofing

Stormtex is designed to provide the best of both worlds in cold and rainy conditions: warmth and dryness.

Its waterproof outer layer keeps the wet weather and wind out, while a breathable inner layer draws sweat away from the skin to reduce clamminess and chafing.

[caption id="attachment_22740" align="alignnone" width="1000"]Performatex Performatex[/caption]

3. Performatex – warmth and ease of movement

This highly technical outer layer is soft, flexible and practical, allowing wearers to warm up – and train hard – in comfort. A fine inner coating promotes ease of movement and breathability, and a top hydrophobic surface coating ensures the rain runs straight off.

4. Performashell – water-resistance and breathability

Layering is important for battling the elements. Performashell is a unique showerproof three-tiered fabric, where the outer layer protects against wind and rain, and the inner layers conserve warmth and draw water away from the body so skin can breathe.

5. Thermotex – insulating and comfort

Keeping warm is essential for hardworking muscles. This fabric has been cleverly designed to incorporate a hydrophobic outer coating that repels rain and moisture away from the fleecy inner layer, allowing effective insulation.

Effective insulation means staying warm when the elements are anything but!

Put all of these fabrics in various combinations – for example, a shell jacket, mid layer, base layer top and tracksuit bottoms or puffer jacket, polo shirt, base layer leggings and unisex shorts – and your kids are equipped to play, whatever the weather.


To find out more about Squadkit Active (curriculum wear), Squadkit Team (specialist sublimated teamwear) and Squadkit Staff (for your full sports/PE teaching complement), visit www.squadkit.com or visit us on social media at @Squadkit

[post_title] => A focus on winter fabrics [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => a-focus-on-winter-fabrics [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-06-09 14:23:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-06-09 13:23:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://ie-today.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=22735 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 20821 [post_author] => 43 [post_date] => 2019-10-22 00:00:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-10-21 23:00:07 [post_content] =>

While it may seem obvious to many of us who work in and with the school environment, something appears to have eluded many sportswear manufacturers: teens and tweens are not just scaled-down adults, they need kit that meets their specific requirements.

Sports kit typically caters to the average even while many fall outside ‘average’, and particularly when bodies are still growing. Squadkit, the UK’s leading sportswear brand in independent schools, is changing how sportswear is manufactured for a younger market. Here are six areas where teens and tweens differ from adults, and how this difference underpins Squadkit’s entire approach to product development:

1. Rapid growth

Young people grow quickly and unpredictably. There are simply more size variables than there are with adults, and sportswear geared for teens needs to accommodate this.

Stretch fabrics with built-in ‘give’ are able to grow with their wearers and are ideally suited to the teen and tween market – as are different leg lengths for each waist measurement. With a vast database of measurement variables, Squadkit is expert at understanding growing bodies and making sportswear that works for them.

2. Body image worries

As adults, we tend to forget how awkward it can feel being at the mercy of a changing body. Squadkit understands that young people want flattering styles and shapes. Panelling and appropriate tailoring counter amorphous cotton tees that lose shape with one wash. Girls’ fit products are designed to flatter, not highlight. Unisex clothing draws attention away from body difference and towards a sense of belonging.

3. Breast discomfort

There is a rapid and marked decrease in sporting activity for young people when they hit their teens – especially girls. Forty-six per cent of girls cite breast discomfort as the reason for stopping exercise, and yet 50% of girls do not wear a proper sports bra. The Limitless sports bra from Squadkit is helping girls stay active by offering a simple yet effective bra that is easy to put on, comfortable to wear, and – with up to four inches of adjustability – grows with them for up to two years.

4. Sweat

Younger people may not sweat more, but they are still learning how to manage it! They need breathable and moisture-wicking fabrics that draw sweat away from the skin, enabling it to evaporate. Sweat also calls for the judicious use of sublimated garments, which, while they look good, have a tendency to hold on to moisture where other fabrics do not. This is particularly relevant in boarding schools and on tours, where a washing machine might not be close to hand.

5. Softer skin

Growing up is a sensitive issue, and not least when it comes to skin. Younger people have softer skin, which asks for fabrics that shield it from the elements and from the falls and scuffs that come with increased activity. For example, base layers made from nylon are three times more abrasion-resistant than polyester, and shell tops shield wearers from cold weather, while keeping skin warm and dry.

6. The loneliest generation

A recent YouGov report has found that three in 10 Millennials say they always or often feel lonely – and that figure is unlikely to change for Generation Z. The notion of elitism that defined the Boomers and Generation X no longer serves in an age of isolation.

We need a sea-change towards an ethos of togetherness and participation. Teamwear for the 1st teams may have its place, but at Squadkit we believe this should never be at the expense of ‘teamwear for all’, which should embody the same levels of quality, care and attention. There will always be those athletes who excel, but every one of us is a winner in our own way.


To find out more about Squadkit, visit: https://www.squadkit.com  [post_title] => Teens are unique – isn’t it time sportswear caught up? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => teens-are-unique-isnt-it-time-sportswear-caught-up [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-10-18 15:56:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-10-18 14:56:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://ie-today.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=20821 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17190 [post_author] => 43 [post_date] => 2019-04-01 11:24:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-01 10:24:37 [post_content] => As the leading supplier of curriculum sportswear to the UK’s top schools and colleges, we at Squadkit are driven by a core principle that helping aspiring young athletes to look and feel good is essential to unlocking their potential. There is an increasing pressure upon and within schools to inspire and engage young people in sport. There’s also an increasing understanding that the reasons for disengagement are complex, and they’re often not helped by poor-fitting, low- (or ‘no’!) tech activewear in a social media-influenced world, where high-performance gear that looks good holds a great deal of weight. This raises a few questions when it comes to designing school sportswear: ● How do we strike a balance between form and function? ● How do we foster an ethos of inclusion in an activewear market driven by ‘exclusivity’? ● And how do we do this in a way that is sustainable for schools, parents and the environment?
While Squadkit is a relatively small company, we recognise and embrace the fact that we have an important role to play in ensuring that our industry rises to the environmental challenges it faces
Form and function Squadkit is designed to perform. It’s also designed to work with young bodies in particular, with a firm eye on current trends and cuts. The keyword here is fabric. Stormtex is our water- and wind-proof winner, used on both our curriculum and staffwear jackets. Performatex is the main fabric in our shell jackets, and lends itself to a distinctly tailored look. Hydrocool is a wicking playing layer that draws moisture away from the skin: very important with school sports kit! Our base layer fabric, Climaskin, is there to protect the wearer’s skin from abrasions and the elements. We put a lot of thought and research into our fabrics, and our buyers travel the globe to find ones that meet our standards when it comes to consistency, colour-matching and robustness. Inclusivity in an exclusive world There are plenty of brands out there who are only too happy to be associated with the elite players. But what about those kids who will never make the first team, who love sport nonetheless? What about those who, when they realise that sport will never be their strongest point, simply give up? Those who just need a chance to develop an interest in getting active? Those whose main wish is to feel comfortable when their body doesn’t live up to an elusive ideal? [caption id="attachment_17193" align="alignnone" width="732"] We put a lot of thought and research into our fabrics, and our buyers travel the globe to find ones that meet our standards when it comes to consistency, colour-matching and robustness[/caption] Sportswear can’t solve any of these. It can, however, help. It can help to support change and a shift towards greater engagement. There has to be a place for both elite and the vast majority that makes up ‘everyone else’, and one where both hold equal, if different, importance. Sustainability There’s little point in talking about inclusivity if we’re not willing to live it across every aspect of our business. While Squadkit is a relatively small company, we recognise and embrace the fact that we have an important role to play in ensuring that our industry rises to the environmental challenges it faces, and that our own operations have as positive an impact as possible on the world and the people involved. Mirroring our Squadkit positioning statement of Count Me In, we are also unashamed globalists. The trading agreements we have with our suppliers mean that in turn they can offer meaningful employment to their staff, which gives them the opportunity to grow and develop. But this cannot come with a cost to the environment. To this end, we are also investing in dramatically reducing single-use plastics, moving to recycled polyester where we can, and ensuring that our manufacturing processes produce clean waste water and our cotton is sustainably sourced. Squadkit’s ‘we’re in this together’ ethos is one whose time has been long overdue and we hope a welcome change in the school sports landscape.
To find out more about Squadkit, visit their website: https://www.squadkit.com  [post_title] => Helping to build a confident and active generation [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => helping-to-build-a-confident-and-active-generation [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-04-01 11:30:05 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-01 10:30:05 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://ie-today.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=17190 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 202 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2018-10-11 00:00:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-10 22:00:00 [post_content] => PE kits stink. It’s not the bouquet I’m talking about but their design and function. They need a complete overhaul. It is very important that students have the correct PE kit for the right type of sport they are doing in order to keep them comfortable and safe. The ‘athleisure’ trend for activewear means that technical and high-performance products are now available for everyone, not just for top athletes. But this has not necessarily filtered down into schools. A colleague of mine told me that he had recently noticed that an increasing number of students were attending PE lessons wearing the ‘incorrect’ PE kit. Upon closer inspection, this had more to do with the fact that PE kit was old-fashioned. Some students hate PE and it isn’t because of the activities, it’s because of their outdated, impractical and dysfunctional kits. Students ‘forget’ their PE kits for good reasons and deliberately opt out of being active because their kits are crummy and embarrassing. They don’t look the part and if students don’t look good, they don’t feel good. Schools have a policy whereby pupils who do not bring their kit will be given detention at breaktime or lunchtime. But if the kit is at fault we can’t punish pupils for decisions out of their control; schools have incredible power to dictate how their students feel by selecting the PE kits they wear. PE kits can be a barrier preventing students taking part in sport because they make students feel very self-conscious. Rather than empower young people and motivate them to take up sports, PE kits are doing the opposite which is why some students call PE ‘public embarrassment’. Research has consistently found that the struggle to get students active at school, particularly girls, could be reduced be redesigning PE uniforms. According to figures by Virgin Active, nearly 50% of girls aged 16 say they enjoyed being active but hated their school PE kit. What put girls off were low-cut V-necked polo shirts and uncomfortable materials. What girls said they wanted instead were opaque leggings, high-necked collared training tops and dark colours that hide sweat patches and keep the body cooler. Schools can therefore do so much more to promote exercise by thinking more carefully about what they ask students to wear. Jennie Price, Sport England Executive has previously told school leaders that teachers should allow female students to wear a more comfortable kit rather than the traditional short skirt still widely used in primary and secondary schools. The latest trends are crucial but what do these look like for schools? Is it still itchy tops that are user-hostile? Squadkit is leading the way in school sports working with world-leading fabric manufacturers and international athletes, like Olympic hockey player Hollie Webb, to make innovative products such as Climaskin, Hydrocool, Stormex and Performatex. Squadkit noticed that female activewear has often been based on male sports clothing but just in smaller sizes which meant the fit was all wrong and both unflattering and uninspiring. They’ve listened to what girls were wanting and they’ve created a range of fashionable, high-performance apparel called Fitness Kit featuring flattering T-shirts made from breathable fabrics and new running shorts featuring a dual fabric design. Taking inspiration from the movement of wearing yoga pants both in and out of the gym, one of Squadkit’s most popular products for girls is the multi-purpose Fitness Legging. This has been tailored to fit adolescent girls, designed with a deep waistband and using high-performance fabrics to form a flattering garment that makes girls look the part. Squadkit hope to inspire girls to get back outside and active again saying: “The highly technical product features a moisture-wicking inside layer, and a smooth friction-minimising upper surface. The result is a product which will keep girls warm, dry and comfortable so that they can perform at their best – without compromising on style.” PE kits are an often overlooked feature of the psychology of participation. The physical and mental experience of wearing fitness and activewear kits can have a huge impact on students. Research has shown that clothes systematically influence our own behaviour and the way we think and act. In recent years, there has been evidence of disturbingly high rates of mental ill health among adolescents and even younger children. PE plays an important part in developing resilience, grit, determination and the will to succeed. PE is powerful education but the basics have to be right in order for students to feel the part and this means clothing our minds and our bodies for success. PE teachers used to say that a PE lesson was not a fashion show, and it isn’t, but that doesn’t prevent kits being fashionable and technically up to the job. Students need to move easily and freely and looking slick in action shouldn’t be seen as some sort of extravagance or just reserved for matches. As Pete Kennedy of O’Neills Sportwear noted: “Many educational establishments now want to replicate what the pupils wear in games lessons to what they wear competitively. Gone are the days when pupils wear a heavy cotton fabric one minute and then a bespoke garment for fixtures.” Some PE kits might not have moved with the times but students’ expectations have. They hear about high-tech football shirts that contain massage strips that maximise muscle power by allowing the body to recover from exertion more quickly. OK, they might not expect PE kits to match the luxury of this hidden technology but they do expect it to be technical and something closer to what sportspeople wear. They, too, want to feel professional and proud, not amateur and second-rate. They want innovative sportswear design using the very latest performance fabrics. Why can’t PE kits incorporate temperature-regulating technologies commonly found in sportswear? Not only are breathable performance fabrics healthier and safer for the user, they are designed for stylish and comfortable wear too. Students are fashion conscious, tech-savvy and it is essential that they feel both up-to-the-minute and comfortable. A great-looking, stylish PE kit that is versatile and can ‘perform’ is compulsory for students, although not always for schools oblivious to the impact a poor kit can have. The PE checklist for pupils is simple: it needs to be wearable, functional and, above all, on-trend with a modern edge. The relationship between physical education, sport and social inclusion shouldn’t be down to what clothing students wear but this is clearly an important consideration we cannot overlook. It’s a classic requirement for schools to insist that “PE kit should be named and kept in school at all times” which shouldn’t be a problem if that kit is practical and something students actually want to wear. Physical activity is positively associated with good mental health, particularly in relation to children’s self-esteem. If pupils are kitted out with clothing that is practical, professional and stylish then they are going to want to be active and take part, not sit out and find ways to avoid PE. Clearly schools, policymakers and manufacturers need to listen to their students, listen to the research and consider implementing fresh ideas so that PE kits are inclusive and they increase participation, confidence and performance. If a school’s vision for PE, sport and physical activity is “to make sport and physical activity an everyday part of everybody’s life,” then it needs to start with intelligent decision-making about the clothes students wear, and that needs to be done in conjunction with suppliers who actually understand schools and can cater for demand. Stevensons is the largest independent school uniform and sportswear provider in the UK, and launched its own sportswear brand into the market three years ago called XXV. It supplies some of the UK’s most prestigious schools including St Paul’s Girls School, Abingdon, St Edwards and Robert Gordons College. They have aligned and integrated their systems with the leading manufacturers of sportswear in both Europe and the UK. It’s important that suppliers anticipate trends and, according to its Joint Managing Director, John Stevenson: “Schools stay ahead of the competition by aligning with a supplier that can deliver what others can only dream of. We welcome our key customers to come and view their production so we can demonstrate the technical processes such as seam-bonding and laser-cutting.” If students wear their PE kits with pride then you know that you have got things right. They will be great ambassadors for your school and they will look forward to PE, not dread it. Schools often send home messages to parents such as: “It is vitally important that children are correctly dressed for PE lessons as without the correct PE kit pupils cannot participate safely in PE,” – but do they really consider what this means from a student perspective? Uniform, including PE kit, is an important part of a school’s identity. It reinforces what that school stands for as a community and helps allow students to feel pride in their school. However, PE kits need to move with the times and be professional-quality, high-performance and make students want to wear them so they can perform to the best of their ability in any sport they wish to participate in. John Dabell: johndabell.com [post_title] => The whole kit and caboodle [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-whole-kit-and-caboodle [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-11-29 15:50:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-11-29 15:50:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 652 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2018-03-27 00:00:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-26 22:00:00 [post_content] => Making sure that students stay active in sports is a huge challenge in schools. The challenge is not only that students participate and are motivated to take part in mandatory curriculum PE but also that they have a positive experience doing it. Most of us are acutely aware of the far-reaching benefits of staying active. There is extensive research presented in Sport England reports that highlights how it has a very positive impact on a student not only during the time that they are in school but also going forward into their young adult lives. British Heart Foundation research highlights that children and adolescents who are active in school sports are fitter, more confident, and are at less risk of ill health and emotional disturbance, which makes it all the more important for pupils to have a positive approach to physical activity at a young age. Recent research by Sport England which builds on their youth insight review in 2014, has shown that young people’s perceptions of sport are varied and nuanced. These impact on their expectations. While some associate sport with fun and social camaraderie, for others the connotations are of pressure, insecurity and fear of judgement. The challenges associated with these differences mean that continued motivation when taking up sports and fitness can be a real issue for many. With this in mind, it is important to consider what young people think and feel and how to provide a more rounded experience to nurture positivity and engagement in sports. At Squadkit, we pride ourselves on our ability to incorporate the needs and wants of the students, as well as their parents and schools themselves, in making sure that not only do we provide the most suitable high-performance sportswear but also deliver a more rounded experience to our partner schools and customers. We do this in multiple ways. First and foremost, we ensure that we create the best performance kit. We believe that great, high-performance, well-fitted kit enables all pupils to enjoy sport, feel more confident and perform to their best. We ensure that our garments are at the cutting edge of innovation, and are suitable for all pupils regardless of sport and ability level. Building self-confidence and self-esteem is fundamental to any young person’s development and providing a great kit that supports this is only a start. We are committed to supporting the next generation in sports. Every year Squadkit selects and sponsors a group of bright and determined young people from a variety of sporting backgrounds across partner schools with a Squadkit Scholarship. The sponsorship goes a long way to helping the scholars achieve their goals and get ever closer towards their Olympic aspirations, providing tangible support that also motivates and engages students and their peers. Alongside this, Squadkit also works with some of the great names in sport including Kate Richardson-Walsh, Hollie Webb and Tom Croft. These ambassadors help to ensure that our sportswear is at the cutting edge of fabric technology in terms of performance and fit, helping to continuously innovate so that we deliver the best possible product for our schools. As part of the programme, Squadkit Performance Directors often attend school events to support coaching and help inspire the next generation of sporting heroes to achieve their goals, engaging with pupils and motivating them while providing real insight from an established athlete. To learn more, visit squadkit.com, their Twitter page, or Instagram. [post_title] => Inspiring positive experience in sport [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => inspiring-positive-experience-in-sport [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-11-29 16:28:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-11-29 16:28:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 852 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2017-12-17 00:00:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-12-16 23:00:00 [post_content] => It’s a disappointing conclusion: women are less likely to take part in sport than men. According to Sport England, two million fewer women play sport regularly than men aged 14 to 40, and yet 75% of them would like to be more active. With girls dropping out of sports at twice the rate of boys before adulthood, it is increasingly apparent that something needs to be done to encourage girls back into sports and exercise. With self-consciousness and low self-esteem being two of several factors which can negatively influence girls’ participation in sports, it is more important than ever to develop quality, comfortable sportswear that girls feel good in. In the past, women’s and girls’ activewear was often based on men’s sports apparel, just in smaller sizes; inevitably, the fit could be unflattering and uninspiring. Thankfully, things have changed; as the ‘athleisure’ trend has taken hold in recent years, we are seeing fashion influence activewear to create technical, high-performance products tailored to women. Now, this trend is making its way into school sportswear. Squadkit has listened to what girls want to create the ‘Fitness Kit’, a range of fashionable, high-performance products that not only incorporate school uniform standards, but also are in keeping with the school brand. Better still, Fitness Kit garments are suitable for several different sports – saving our customers money in the long run. Responding to the increasing number of schools which are introducing gym and fitness into the sports curriculum, the range includes an innovative, flattering T-shirt made from breathable fabrics, and new running shorts featuring a dual fabric design. But perhaps the favourite garment from the range is the fitness legging. Taking inspiration from the movement of wearing yoga pants both in and out of the gym, the Squadkit design team has worked to create a multi-purpose garment ideal for any form of training. Tailoring designed to fit adolescent girls, a deep waistband, and high-performance fabrics form a flattering garment that makes girls look the part. The leggings are warm enough to wear outside as well as indoors, making them truly versatile and multi-purpose. The highly technical product features a moisture wicking inside layer, and a smooth, friction-minimising upper surface. The result is a product which will keep girls warm, dry and comfortable so that they can perform at their best – without compromising on style. Too often, functional garments look uninspiring in appearance, while design-led garments may fall short of the physical and technical requirements. With the fitness legging exceeding standards on all fronts, we hope to inspire girls to get back outside and active again. As the ‘activewear as fashion’ trend shows no sign of declining in popularity, Squadkit’s design team looks forward to continuing to work in conjunction with Schoolblazer and international athletes, using its expertise in sourcing cutting-edge fabrics which deliver high-performance products: leading the way in school sports.       [post_title] => Squadkit: Sport never goes out of style [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => squadkit-sport-never-goes-out-of-style [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-11-29 16:37:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-11-29 16:37:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1273 [post_author] => 53 [post_date] => 2017-07-14 00:00:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-13 22:00:00 [post_content] =>

An intrepid group of staff from Badminton School in Bristol, led by Headmistress Rebecca Tear, are embarking on a 367-mile cycle ride in August, to raise awareness and vital funds for the boarding school bursary charity, The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation (SpringBoard).

Rebecca and her team will cycle from Framlingham College in Suffolk (the most Easterly School supported by SpringBoard) to Mount Kelly School in Devon (the charity’s most Westerly School) 6th - 13th August. Along the way, the cyclists will stop overnight at schools supported by the charity: St Edmunds College in Ware, Wycombe Abbey School, Warminster School and Taunton School.  

Members of The Bike Ride team include Rachel Macfarlane (Operations Manager at Badminton School), Richard Tear (Badminton School volunteer) and Chelsea Hayes from School Trunk. Along the way, they will be accompanied by staff from the schools they visit during their 367-mile epic. The Bike Ride is sponsored by School Trunk, the school holiday storage company, and some kit to help identify the cyclists en route has been donated by Squadkit, the leading sportswear brand in Independent Schools. 

Rebecca Tear said: “The aim of the Bike Ride is to raise awareness of the vital work SpringBoard delivers in schools like Badminton School. I see the difference their work makes day to day for young people and I want to do all I can to enable this.

“I am delighted that we end at Mount Kelly, where I went to school. They supported me through my Sixth Form with a scholarship and by offering a boarding space when it was much needed.”

SpringBoard is currently facing a record demand for our help, so we are immensely grateful to Rebecca and her fellow riders for their support. The funds they raise will make a massive difference to the lives of disadvantaged children across the UK - Ian Davenport, Chief Executive of The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation

Ian Davenport, Chief Executive of The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation, said: “We are thrilled that Rebecca and her team will be tackling their Bike Ride in aid of SpringBoard. The funds they raise will help deeply disadvantaged children attend boarding school, where they will have the opportunity to achieve their true academic and personal potential. 

“SpringBoard is currently facing a record demand for our help, so we are immensely grateful to Rebecca and her fellow riders for their support. The funds they raise will make a massive difference to the lives of disadvantaged children across the UK.”

SpringBoard helps children who are deeply disadvantaged by their personal circumstances (through no fault of their own), by enabling them to attend state or independent boarding school. There, they receive a unique opportunity to fulfil their academic and personal potential. From September, the charity will support more than 600 disadvantaged children, through a merger with the Royal National Children’s Foundation (RNCF). The charity receives no statutory funding and depends on voluntary donations to continue its vital work.

You can sponsor Rebecca and the Bike Ride team here. Alternatively, anyone interested in joining the Bike Ride team should contact Rachel Macfarlane: RMacfarlane@badmintonschool.co.uk.

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Schoolblazer is now widely recognised across the UK as the leader in design and development of uniform and sportswear.

Burgess Hill Girls approached Schoolblazer in early 2015 following the appointment of Kathryn Bell as the new Head. Kathryn had a very clear vision for the school, a school for ‘Only Motivated Girls’ or ‘OMGs’. However, the previous uniform was drab and undistinctive, failing to reflect the modern ethos of the school and nurturing nature of the surroundings.

Schoolblazer worked with design agency Kilvington, who specialise in school branding, and who had been tasked to develop a new brand identity for Burgess Hill Girls. The agency conducted detailed focus groups with pupils and the results of these were very clear. 

The girls wanted a unique and distinctive style that built on the heritage of the school but was still modern and fashionable. The school’s blue colour scheme was important, but the desire was to move away from a ‘plain’ blue jacket.

They also commented that the sportswear should be distinctive with a real stand-out look. Sport is a critical part of the school’s life and identity, however, local schools are all in a dominant navy-based colour scheme, and the school wanted a unique look.

Our designers then got to work. 

We presented a series of concepts and mood boards, showcasing shapes and ideas. Then we worked with the UK’s leading textile mills to develop a fabric which fully reflected the style and colours. Finally, we worked together to develop some high-impact sportswear under the Squadkit brand. Squadkit has been developed with the world’s leading sportswear fabric suppliers to bring new levels of breathability and performance to the school market.

The result is a unique uniform that uses the new distinctive ‘B’ branding, sometimes in quite subtle ways like in the jacquard lining of the blazers. The whole look has been modernised by the introduction of fitted girls’ jackets, blouses and tailoring. The Squadkit sportswear delivers a bold look using strong and vibrant colours in the latest performance fabrics.

Too often new uniform or sportswear introductions are let down by poor logistics. At Schoolblazer we know that parental satisfaction is key, and pride ourselves on our logistical excellence. We applied our unique buying algorithms to ensure that we delivered 100% availability throughout the launch season and worked with our factories to ensure that all stock was ready for launch. Our online service offers intelligent sizing to ensure fit, free name-tape application and ultra-fast order turn-around. 

The results have been amazing: over 95% of parents expressed themselves as fully satisfied with our service and over 90% of parents were satisfied with the appearance and quality.

More importantly the school is delighted with the new product. Kathryn Bell said: “Schoolblazer have played a vital part in our redesign and development. I’m delighted with the result.” 

W: www.schoolblazer.com

[post_title] => A 21st-century uniform [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => a-21st-century-uniform [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-08-27 16:34:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-27 15:34:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1834 [post_author] => 52 [post_date] => 2017-01-23 00:00:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-01-22 23:00:00 [post_content] =>

 A student from Lewes Old Grammar School (LOGS) has been awarded a prestigious sports scholarship this month, in recognition of her remarkable javelin success.

Anouska Fairhurst, 12, was granted one of only four scholarships by Squadkit, who manufacture sportswear exclusively for LOGS’s uniform supplier, Schoolblazer.

Despite only taking up the javelin 18 months ago, Anouska is now number one in the UK and fourth in the world for her age group. Last year, she competed in 20 competitions nationwide and boasts an incredible personal best of 37.37 metres.

Judges said they were impressed that Anouska had achieved so much in a short amount of time and praised the strength of her application, which was supported by a letter from Robyn Stone, Head of Gifted and Talented at LOGS.

Robyn said: “When Squadkit asked for applications, Anouska immediately came to mind. She is an exceptional sportswoman who has represented the school in a myriad of sports. We are all so happy for her and I’m sure Olympic medals will follow in her future!”

Chosen by Olympic Hockey players Chloe Rogers and Hollie Webb, as well as former Scottish Rugby player Jason White, Anouska will receive support with kit, funding to enter international events, and mentoring from the former athletes.

Her mother, Elizabeth Fairhurst, said: “The scholarship means that Anouska can afford to travel to competitions around the world, which is crucial for achieving her dream of becoming an Olympic gold medallist. We’re over the moon, and so grateful to Squadkit and LOGS for their support. I couldn’t be prouder.”

Later this term, the young athlete will be awarded with the Scholarship and a trophy during a school assembly.

'Winning this award is just awesome. I can't thank Squadkit enough for giving me this opportunity to really go for it. I will train harder than ever now to do even better this year,” said Anouska. “I would like to thank LOGS so much for their incredible support; they are just amazing and the best school ever'.

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A key message taken away from the triumphant London 2012 Olympic Games was that the UK's independent schools are crucial in developing medal-winning talent. Privately educated athletes comprised 17 per cent of Team GB – but were responsible for bringing home 37.5 per cent of the team's medals.

Squadkit, the performance range of sports kit from Schoolblazer, the UK's leading supplier of school uniform and sportswear, is now the leading sportswear brand in independent schools – and the brand recognises that it has a real responsibility to help foster and nurture the next generation of medal winners.

To that end, the company is delighted to welcome London 2012 medallist Chloe Rogers to the Squadkit team. “As a key member of the medal-winning Ladies' Hockey Team, Chloe knows what is required to dedicate your life to Olympic glory,” reveals Chloe's fellow Performance Director, Ashes-winning England bowler Matthew Hoggard MBE . “She has been hugely helpful in setting the standards and specifications of our product to ensure that players of all ability or ambitions can train in great performing kit.”

Chloe has also been out and about to many of Squadkit's partner schools to talk about her Olympic experience and
to help inspire those just setting out on their own sporting journey.

“Schools and teams across the country are already seeing the benefits of Chloe's experience,” Matthew continues. “We've altered the fit of our track pants and introduced ladies' sizing, and we've further improved the wicking and breathability properties of our key garments to maximise dryness and comfort. We've also introduced a range of new sublimated rugby and hockey fabrics, and we've looked again at our 'warmth layer' garments, focusing on high-performance mid layers and moving away from traditional hoodies.

“There used to be a real apartheid in sport, with elite teams wearing great high-performance kit and pupils lower down the sporting ladder given old-fashioned and uncomfortable kit. Squadkit has pioneered a genuine change, bringing first-team kit quality to all. This trend is now widespread, and the confidence and enthusiasm in those schools who have adopted the new philosophy has been palpable.

“We firmly believe that elite performance is driven by opportunity and inspiration, and we are determined to help schools provide this to their young athletes – through wearing great kit, witnessing great performances and meeting inspirational athletes who can sow the seeds of future glory.”

Contacts   T: 01832 280011 W: www.squadkit.com

[post_title] => Dress for success [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => dress_for_success [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-06-26 15:22:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 0000-00-00 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 11 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24354 [post_author] => 56 [post_date] => 2020-04-06 00:00:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-04-05 23:00:08 [post_content] => At Squadkit we are dedicated to helping all young people be active, healthy and happy. We are particularly worried about teenage girls, half of whom stop or significantly reduce their activity when they hit puberty. They spend an average of just 25 minutes per day on sport or exercise vs 40 minutes for boys. We wanted to change that. We worked with some of the leading academics in sports science and talked to hundreds of girls across the 170+ independent schools that use Squadkit. The results were clear. The major reason given for a reduction in sporting activity was breast discomfort – and yet 50% of teen girls don’t wear a sports bra. When we worked with the girls, they were vocal: sports bras were expensive, uncomfortable and difficult to get on and off. They didn’t work for teen girls and clearly hadn’t been designed for them. In fact, there was nothing on the market for this vital group. So, our task was to empower teen girls to keep playing sport by developing a sports bra for their growing bodies – a bra that addressed the unique problems they faced. It needed to be: Comfortable Many girls wanted to wear the same bra all day at school and simply tighten it up to give more support when it was time to ‘get active’. Adaptable Sports bras are expensive. As bodies change girls wanted a bra that changed with them and was super-adjustable. We achieved this with our unique ‘T-System’ which allows more than three sizes of adjustment. Discrete Easy to slip on and off with a simple front-fastening, so no more wrestling under the towel! Stylish On show or under clothing, every detail is important. We set to work collaborating with leading designers, manufacturers and testers, plus our own creative team, to develop a unique product – so unique, it’s now patented. We’ve tested it at the UK’s leading Breast Health Centre at the University of Portsmouth where it showed a 20% reduction in movement versus the most popular sports bra worn by teen girls (and almost 70% versus ‘no bra’). We know that the Limitless bra solves many girls’ problems, but we are not here to sell Limitless. We are here to ensure that nobody stops playing sport because they feel body-conscious or uncomfortable. There are other great sports bras available and our mission is to ensure that everyone understands how this simple garment can transform their experience. We are now working with educators and our partner schools to educate girls in the importance of exercise and how wearing a sports bra is a vital part of that. We are also developing a range of other products to encourage all young people – boys and girls – to stay active.
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We believe in enabling activity for all by providing every young person with high performance, great fitting sports kit they feel proud to wear. Squadkit Active – curriculum sportswear; Squadkit Team – specialist teamwear; Squadkit Staff – PE and Sports staffwear.

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Teens are unique – isn’t it time sportswear caught up?

Squadkit is changing how sportswear is manufactured for a younger market

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Squadkit News

Teen girls are 40% less active than boys – it doesn’t have to be this way

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A focus on winter fabrics

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Teens are unique – isn’t it time sportswear caught up?

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Helping to build a confident and active generation

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The whole kit and caboodle

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Inspiring positive experience in sport

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Squadkit: Sport never goes out of style

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Badminton School Head leads 367-mile charity cycle challenge

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A 21st-century uniform

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LOGS student awarded Squadkit sports scholarship

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Dress for success

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