Safety Studs is the brainchild of four student entrepreneurs, Mairead Walsh, Clodagh O’Sullivan, Rachel Deniel and Jan-Eve Browne.
The team has manufactured a pair of waterproof sports footwear that protects studs/spikes from wear and tear and eliminates the need for dressing rooms from used wellies.
The first-year student enterprise group from Presentation Castleisland, County Kerry claimed the top prize in the junior category at the annual Kerry Student Enterprise County Final on Wednesday, March 24th.
This success made it a four-in-a-row in this category for the school.
Combining farming and sport
All four girls are from farming backgrounds and play sports. They saw an opportunity to combine both to form their business idea.
On their own family farms, they saw used wellies been discarded and thought they could be reused somehow. The girls play a variety of sports from Gaelic football to athletics.
They noticed that their studs and spikes have been worn down and damaged as they walked to and from the pitch and track and wanted to overcome this issue. This was the starting idea for Safety Studs.
A second challenge the girls faced playing sports was that there were no dressing rooms before Christmas when sport was allowed.
So, to overcome getting changed in the car or outside, they wanted to come fully kitted out and ready to go from home.
The group said: “Safety Studs allowed this to be possible, as the footwear can slip over your boots/spikes and will keep the car clean to and from the game or training also.”
“As they are made from used wellies, they are waterproof and be left on the side of the pitch upside down and ready to wear home again after the game.”
“They also keep your feet dry and warm prior to a game or training. Finally, they protect the user from injury, as walking in studs or spikes across hard ground is dangerous and can result in a fall or slip.”
How they made the product
The girls made the product by cutting down used wellies to a height of 10cm. This is the optimum height to cut down to allow easy of access of your foot into the wellie but also to ensure that your foot does not slip out.
They discovered this through trial-and-error testing. To remove the rough edges, the girls purchased a strip of rubber and glued it over the wellie’s edges to give it a smooth finish. This was the only material purchased.
Finally, the girls used reused velcro and silver eyelets to make a pull tag and attached it to the heel.
To fit your studs/spikes into the wellie, you have to purchase five sizes up from your foot size, e.g., a size six football boot will require a size 11 Safety Studs pair.
These girls used what was at hand on their farms. Their product is both environmentally friendly and sustainable.
It tackles everyday problems faced by the girls playing sports. Besides, it protects their sports footwear and themselves. Finally, it overcomes the obstacle of Covid-19 closing the use of dressing rooms.
This is the school’s fifth time in six years to have claimed this top award.
Safety Studs will now represent Kerry in the junior category in the national final of the Student Enterprise Awards on May 14th. This is the fourth year-in-a-row the school has reached the national stage.
This brings the school’s total county titles to 25 in the past six years. Furthermore, the school also hopes to add to its illustrious record at national finals by adding the six national titles achieved in the past three years. This has included first- place in the junior and intermediate categories in the entire country.
An entrepreneurial culture is well and truly embedded in the school and they are reaping the rewards of it.
To share your story, email – [email protected]