We Dared to Challenge the Status Quo
We came from Sweden and started Floorball in Southeast Asia (SEA) even though everyone said it was impossible.
Now we have organised the first World Cup in Floorball outside Europe and Floorball was a full medal sport in the SEA Games 2015.
Our love and passion for sport lead us to the path of Z Athletica.
It's the Little Things That Make The Big Ones Happen
We are innovating new ways of designing the fabrics of the highest quality for individual needs in planet-friendly ways,
whenever possible. By always keeping out ears close to the ground and listening to the players needs and to be continuously open to improvement and adjustments.
It may just be the little things but usually, it is these small little details that make the difference.
Look good, feel good, play good.
Z Started for the Love of Sport
We decided to start Z Athletica when we could not get niche attires for our Floorball players. The market provided mainly team-wear made in unisex (aka men sizes) and European sizings.
We felt that the attire should be unique for the niche of the sport. The cutting should be unique for male and female. Sizes and styles should be made for each local need. Thus, we decided to challenge the standard.
We Only Have One Planet
After sourcing production factories and seeing the useless waste, the "One Planet, Dude" concept was born.
The founders gathered together with the friend from their youth, Alfie, at their friend beach hut on an island in Thailand. Looking at an amazing sunset, they sat and spoke of the huge quantity of chemicals that were used by the factories in their production. The waste went right out to the planet and the working conditions were horrendous. Alfie looked out to the sea and said, "This ain't right. One planet, dude. We've only got one planet."
Right there, in the light of the sunset, on a Singha Beer coaster, the manifesto and guiding stars were written down for the first time.
Z Athletica is getting a lot of inspiration from Alfie and his free-spirited way of looking at the world. It is definitely possible to develop new sports, start and entire company with love and passion as well as assisting to improve local social opportunities. Start local, end global.
The Z Manifesto
Z Athletica aims to equip all athletes on the planet with the coolest possible attire, designed for the needs and demands of every individual we serve. We aim to work with planet-friendly material as much as possible and never cut corners to compromise the quality of the product nor the path we take. We aim to make a difference for our athletes and for the Z community we get in touch with. If you don't live it, you can't play it.
Make A Difference
Our journey has just begun...
Introducing a Skirt in the World Cup
Z came to the scene when we introduced a skirt for the Singapore team at a World Cup. It created a huge uproar and Z was on the attire map.
The Czechs approached Z and was the first European team to play with the Z attire. It was also the first time that the Czech national teams were equipped with specific design for men and women. They could control the fit (they chose loose fitting) as well as the length of their shorts and jerseys.
Sweden, the World Champions, was the next big team to use the Z attire. This was the first time Sweden had sizes and cutting unique for men and women.
It was also when the match jersey fabric, Hikari, was specially developed for Sweden. It is a 4-way stretch woven fabric. Each jersey was 100% recycled from water bottles. The tracksuits that the Swedes wore were made form the fabrics Tractus and Chikara - 100% from recyclable items as well.
Sweden was the first Floorball national team to play in all planet-friendly attire.
Stockholm, the biggest Floorball district in Sweden
Z worked with Stockholm at the same time as Sweden. It equipped the biggest Floorball district in the world with the same unique attire for men and women for the Swedish team.
The Trinity: Singapore Showdown, Z All-Star Tour, Bali Floorball Open
Z decided to co-sponsor the Trinity. It was a huge idea to promote Floorball and sports in general. We were to bring down the absolute best players in the world for a tour of Asia to help develop the game. Then we brought down the men and women teams from biggest Floorball club in Europe. They would play games in Singapore with combination of the best players from the region. Following that, they proceeded to Bali for the tournament there.
We had an Indonesian partner that was going to supply all airplane tickets and accommodations. All was looking good except that he pulled out on his side from the agreement a couple of weeks before the event started.
This created a totally havoc situation because we had to find funding and arrangements of flight tickets and accommodations for the All-Star tour in Singapore, Malaysia and India.
We still managed to have the All-Star tour going to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Singapore and New Delhi in India. The showdown went down in Singapore and Bali Open was completed.
The Trinity, even thought it still gives shivers down our spines, it is probably a catalyst to open the eyes that Floorball really was a candidate as a SEA Games Sport.
SEA Games 2013
As both founder of Z as well as the one who brought Floorball to SEA Games as a full medal sport, is still mind-blowing. It was just a few years since the start of Floorball in Singapore on an outdoor basketball court and endless introductions and clinics in schools. To build a federation. To find sponsors to get a coach for the National team to go to a World Cup in Europe. To organise a league system.
Floorball is now the fastest growing sport in Singapore, biggest in the school sport system due to its immense popularity for both boys and girls. It has a league system of four divisions and growing. But still, it will usually take so much longer to get into the SEA Games. It is the olympics for SEA with budgets up to 500 million dollars. Just theNational Stadium in Singapore that was built for their hosting of the SEA Games costs over three billion dollars.
But here, we had a chance. The key was SEA Games 2013 in Myanmar. We needed to play Floorball there as a demonstration sport before it could be an official medal sport in 2015. Z then dispatched a founder to coach the Myanmar team. In a surreal situation, the most interesting things happened - coaching in a gym around a boxing ring. Getting supplies of sport shoes donated from other teams because the Myanmar players only had Football boots with studs. It was a fascinating time in Myanmar, especially when the country was just opening up and the Internet became accessible to the population for the first time.
Z Athletica assisted with sponsoring the Malaysia and Singapore team that participated and made it possible to bring Floorball as a SEA Games medal sport.
After the Myanmar SEA Games, there was a huge possibility to get into SEA Games 2015. We went to Philippines to conduct coaching clinics and help their national team with Z attire. In Manila, we also helped a small school in need, with our One Planet, Dude program.
SEA Games 2015
All activities were starting to bear fruits. A key country to get part of the sport and participate in the SEA Games was Thailand. Again, a Z founder was dispatched to prepare their men and women teams for the games.
Z helped and sponsored Malaysia and Singapore for the games. It was tremendous activities behind the scenes but finally, Floorball was a full medal sport.
It turned out to be a great success. Singaporeans were lining up for hours to get into the stadium for the games and thousands had to go home due to the fully packed stadium that could not accommodate everyone.
The Singapore team were dressed up in the Z Athletica jersey and they were the first ever SEA Games Champions in Floorball.
Z is using Valhall, the Floorball and fitness centre in Singapore as its testing station for all new designs. Valhall is located in the new Sports Hub area of Singapore. When the sun sets in the evening, the new National Stadium looms over Valhall. In the opposite direction, you can see the skyline of Singapore. This is truly a perfect place for sports.
The Sample Room
Z is constantly trying to push the boundaries. We needed a small factory and sample room to be able to test all our design ideas. We started in Bangkok with selected professionals in our team. This means we can test all our new ideas and inputs constantly and develop them fast to our customers.
Japan always has a special place within Z. The cultures of 'no compromise in quality' and 'leaving in conjunction with the planet' are a great inspiration. There is a constant curiosity to break boundaries in all field and still stay with traditional values. It was a great honour to be appointed by Japan to sponsor.