From nuns to martial arts
The history of QP Sports
QP Sports originated in 1978, when nuns from a New Plymouth girls’ school wanted to protect their students’ chests while they played soccer. An orthotics specialist from the local hospital was asked to develop a prototype, and the first women’s chest guard was born.
Shortly afterwards in 1981, QP Sport was established to manufacture and sell the new product. The polymer clay of the prototype proved impractical, so it was replaced by lightweight plastic. We still sell the original EconoGuard today – although it has changed significantly since then.
During the 80s, sales were limited, but they picked up as martial arts and fencing associations discovered our products in the 90s. European CE standards for chest and breast protection were introduced around the same time, and in many cases, our products were used as the default standard for protection. All our products meet the relevant European standards today.
QP Sport started with a completely new product, and we haven’t stopped innovating since. We’ve always been at the forefront of women’s sports protection, with new products like the MaxiGuard and CoolGuard giving women more options for a range of sports. In 2011, we moved into a new market by developing a men’s chest guard – the BodyGuard.
Our products are now sold all over the world. They’re used in a wide range of sports, from the original fencing and martial arts to lacrosse, rugby, and roller derby. As the only producer specialising in chest and breast protection, we enjoy a strong following among sportspeople and sporting experts. We keep up with trends and changes in the industry by meeting with our distributors and travelling to major karate, fencing, and martial arts events.