Advance for equity and inclusion in sport a positive step forward
Image: Talia Ricci/CBC
Jora, Kabir and Ajit are adventurous kids. They’re 10, 8 and 7 years old, and love to ride bikes around their neighborhood outside of Toronto, Canada. But, no commercially available helmet fits them.
That’s because, following Sikh tradition, they wear their hair in a bun on the top of their head, covered by a patka, or turban.
Their mom, Tina Singh, an occupational therapist by trade, knew how important helmets were to prevent brain injury. So, although she had no background in sports equipment design, she decided to create an inclusive, safety-certified helmet that would fit over a turban.
After multiple designs and two years of testing, her multisport helmets earned safety certification under the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), EN-1078, and ASTM. It’s approved for use by kids over five years old on bicycles, skateboards, inline skates and kick scooters.
Image: Sikh Helmets
The helmets come in red, blue, and black, colors Ms. Singh’s kids helped pick out.
Kids will no longer have to compromise safety for their religious practice.
Ms. Singh said, “Let’s highlight how we can create products that are more inclusive and diverse, so that we can increase participation and so no one is left out – so no kid is left out – of participating in sports.”
Some Sikhs believe nothing should be worn on top of a turban, and the helmet isn’t approved for every sport or outdoor adventurous activity, such as rock climbing or baseball. So the helmet won’t work in every situation.
But the helmet joins other advances in inclusion for sport and outdoor activities that have been made in recent years, including approval by World Aquatics of the Soul Cap for Black swimmers, and sports hijabs made by major manufacturers.
The helmets are in pre-production and Canadian pre-orders are being taken.
Image: Sikh Helmets