The Fempro Armour Story

Back in 2019, a woman with hardly any off road motorcycling experience –

but unlimited passion and craziness – participated in her first Simpson Desert (Australia) ride.

The experience was a magical one and one that no one ever will forget. 12 female riders raised funds for a anti bullying charity called Dolly’s Dream in memory of Amy Everett  blue butterflya teen model who killed herself aged 14 after years of sick abuse from cyber bullies.

 

The woman was Australian adventure and entrepreneur Stephanie Bofinger, and this is my story about how I came to create Fempro Armour – a unique body protection designed to fit the female form, in all its shapes and sizes, while also being comfortable enough to empower women to get out there and give it a go, in whatever high impact sport or activity they choose.

Motorcycle license at 46

Riding motorcycles was always something I had wanted to do, but it was never a priority. Other things came first – especially when my children were young and the impact on them of something happening to me would have been far greater.

I got my motorcycle license in 2016, just before they changed the rules here in QLD (Australia) and made it harder to get. Why do things the hard way if you don’t have to?

Once I started, motorcycle riding represented freedom for me.

In focusing on the road, I would forget about what was happening at home – I could forget, for a while, about the emotional abuse and how it was affecting my family.

When I rode across the Simpson Desert in 2019 for the Dolly’s Dream charity, I had only just learned to ride on dirt – sand was something completely different again. It took me right outside my comfort zone. Don’t get me wrong, I like being outside my comfort zone, but this was a whole other level.

Finally we made it!

I was so proud I made it to the finish. The photo on the right shows all the emotions I was feeling. I had finished the ride – but I was also finished with domestic violence. I had got to the point where I said no more.

It was also on that ride that I had my lightbulb moment for Fempro Armour. Watching women of different shapes and sizes all having the same problems as me, fidgeting and pulling at ill-fitting protective wear.

As a woman, it was hard to find protective gear that fit properly. Most of it was designed for men, then just made smaller – and maybe with a token splash of pink! – for women. Very little if anything was properly designed to protect the boobs, which are prone to terrible tissue damage and hat trauma can also cause internal injuries, such as rib, sternum and displacement of organs. Whilst squashing is bad enough, that’s not the biggest problem when it comes to injuries.

And wearing uncomfortable protection means that you are always distracted by it – which is dangerous on a bike.

But having an idea is one thing, I had to make it happen.

I have different gears, but I have always been driven and determined. The universe throws out obstacles, rocks in your path, as if to ask “Are you sure you want to go this way? Are you serious about this?”

Swimming taught me to never give up

When you become a professional athlete, you don’t know if you are ever going to reach your goal – you just keep going. For 20 years I was in physical pain every day because I pushed myself to the limit. I’ve had half a dozen concussions because I was in such a trance of thrashing through the water that I forgot there was a wall after 50m!

I swam at international level for Germany and some in Australia, and I was in my 30s when my body finally said, “enough is enough”. But swimming, and the lessons it taught me, are still very much with me. It taught me to push through no matter what, and that there will always be challenges but coaches can help you find ways to overcome them.

That made me the person I am now. When something goes wrong, it is just another obstacle to find a way around. When one person told me I couldn’t do Fempro Armour how I wanted, I replied: “Yes I can.”  If someone says it’s not possible, it just means they don’t know how.

Fempro Armour is not just about physical protection, it is also invisible protection – when I am wearing it, I feel strong and powerful. It is this amazing layer of protection but it is also designed to be worn like a second skin.  You are comfortable, and confident in being protected, so you can go so much harder.

I love that it gives women the comfort and the confidence to push themselves further – and that’s exactly why we do impact sports! I can go hard and fast and know that when I fall – and I will – I am protected.

I hadn’t really thought about Fempro Armour for the elderly but – like motorcycle riding – falls are a fact of life when you get older. And it doesn’t matter if you fall from a motorbike, a horse or a chair, the impact is the same. But for the elderly, it can lead to a loss of mobility or independence, or even death. My grandmother died during surgery for a broken hip.

So I love that our armour can be worn discreetly under clothes, and give elderly women – and men – the confidence that when they fall, they will be more protected. It gives them the confidence to stay independent for longer, and that is important to me.

When people buy armour and feel protected and empowered – strong but still feminine – that is like winning a gold medal.

They are the wins that keep me going!

 

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