Kenko is a clothing brand that advocates for the conversation of mental health in sports. Our goal is achieved through our messages, campaign and programs.
I started to notice the topic of mental health in the sports world when I was playing in my previous volleyball season. I started to realize that I kept a lot of my feelings in, which continued to be an unhealthy pattern and had me fall into the athlete stigma. It seemed like it was difficult to open up, as egos and personal feelings got in the way. Now that I’m a coach, I want my players to be able to open up about how they feel, while performing to the best of their abilities. I also want to fix the wrongs that my coaches and captains have done in the past, and create a better support system for athletes.
Kenko explores the conversation and topic of mental health for athletes. 22% of men and 38% of women athletes experience mental health issues. As a coach and current player myself, I wanted to explore the topic in depth and give it a voice that it deserves. In the media today, I rarely hear or see athletes talking about the subject. It only has been recently that a few athletes have opened up about the subject, however it still doesn’t receive the attention and publicity it deserves.
There has always been a stigma towards athletes that I have also personally fallen myself into. Everyone believes that athletes are supposed to be tough and can withstand anything. Instead we fail to realize that there are humans with feelings just like us. Athletes go under great amounts of pressure 24/7 during the season and in training. I hope that “Kenko'' can help athletes speak up and advocate for the conversation, and not be afraid to talk about their feelings and worries.