evoshield Ireland Article
BUSINESS FEATURES
Game Changers: Anthony Foy of Evoshield Ireland

The common denominator of all JOE’s ‘Game Changers’ is that they recognised an opportunity and made it their own. Step forward, Anthony Foy of Evoshield Ireland.

By William Nestor

At the age of 18 you have the world at your feet, right? Dreams of making millions, scoring goals and women in equal measure: the pinnacles of every young man starting out in life. But it was a poignant time in Anthony Foy’s life, one that would eventually threaten to rob him of his passion.

Having suffered a punctured lung and multiple broken ribs in a car accident, Anthony (pictured above with Offaly football star Niall McNamee) managed to recover after a year of treatment to return to the football field. But coming out on the wrong side of hefty clash in a match for his club in Offaly, St Brigid’s, resulted in doctors advising that he hang up his boots once and for all.

But with every cloud there is a silver lining, and after extensive research on Anthony’s behalf he discovered a product which would enable him to take to the field once again. And so a life-changing journey has taken hold for the now 30-year-old entrepreneur who is currently pushing Evoshieldprotection gear to the forefront of the sports equipment market in Ireland.

“X-rays from that injury last year showed I had broken ribs again,” Anthony explains. “After months of bone scans and consultations with some of the top sports doctors in Ireland I was told my rib had healed wrong and there was a gap left in the bone.

“They considered operating but it was so close to the lung they advised against it. They suggested that I take some nerve pain injections and retire early from football.

“I went in search for a rib guard but all the rib guards out there were either too soft, too bulky or not supportive enough for my injury. Then I came across the Evoshield rib guard system. It is a comfortable, slim, custom-moulded rib protector that hardens like a splint to your body shape after fitting.

"It's branching into protection for different areas of the body and one of the latest developments has been Evoshield shin guards for soccer players."

The science behind Evoshield, originally developed and marketed in the US before Anthony brought it to Ireland, is impressive.

Products include shotgun recoil vests, thumb guards, thigh guards, forearm protection, wrist guards for hurling and hockey. Some can be modified to protect the heart, kidneys and pace-makers while participating in a sporting activity and can be used as much as a preventative to serious injury as it can be to aid athletes needing essential protection.

“Its shock dispersion technology means that I can take a full bang to the ribs and barely feel it,” Anthony says.

“Evoshield is now part of my gear bag as an injury protector but it is a pity that I can’t turn back the clock and wear it as an injury preventer.”

Borne out of first-hand experience and belief that the product works, Anthony - who currently operates as a sole trader - has gone about introducing Evoshield to sports enthusiasts in various codes of contact sports in Ireland.

The Evoshield gear has been donned and approved by numerous top athletes including Ireland's Rugby World Cup hooker Rory Best (right), Offaly hurler Shane Dooley and Kilkenny hurling legend Eddie Brennan, to name but a few.

In the US, Evoshield is used as a medical product and now protects more than 200 professional and collegiate teams in the US, yet out of all the people it has helped to protect there is one who stands out in Anthony’s eyes.

“A mother came to me earlier this year about her son who has an abdominal problem,” Anthony tells us.

“He suffered double kidney failure in the first few weeks of his life and had to have a kidney transplant which was donated to him by his mother. To play any kind of contact sport he had to wear a padded jacket like what jockeys wear sometimes and it was very uncomfortable for him, not to mention the attention it drew from other kids.

“We customised the Evoshield chest guard system to cover the abdomen. It's changed everything for him. Not only does it keep that lad safe, he doesn’t have to worry about any mockery and can go out and enjoy himself like any other kid.”

The tagline of Evoshield couldn't be any more appropriate going by what Anthony tells us: "Game-changing protective apparel". It's clear that it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Anthony has been involved in pushing Evoshield into the Irish market since February of this year but the future looks bright as some of the largest sports retailers in the country are keen on the product, which could be on the shelves here by 2012.

“At the moment it’s all online,” Anthony says. “But it’s very early days and the feedback I’m getting from retailers, reviewers and high profile sports people is extremely positive.

“Prior to getting into this I was a carpenter but with the construction industry going to the wall I had to find something new. I have always believed in this product and I have no doubt it will become a part of every man, woman or child’s kit bag.”

To find out more about Evoshield Ireland and its products, visit www.evoshield-ireland.com

Evoshield Ireland, Croghan, Rhode, Offaly, Ireland. CRO:434690. Email: evoshield ireland@gmail.com. Ph: 00353 87 7999743.