Wales, winners of the 2021 Six Nations Championship, know a thing or two about safe hands, good defence and the health and wellbeing of their players; all of which played a key part in this year’s coronavirus-hit competition. What rugby fans won’t know is that they had a secret weapon on their side; GripHero, a Devon invention that protects hands and prevents the spread of coronavirus from communal touch-points.
Spotted by one of the Welsh team’s nutritionists, the dispensers – which normally protect motorists from cross-contamination at the fuel pump – provided the perfect way to prevent players from coming into contact with communal serving implements at mealtimes, on which Covid-19 could have been spread if any member of the training camp or its support team had the virus. Dispensing one item of recycleable hand-protection at a time, GripHero provided an instant solution to what was perceived as a very real threat to team members and to the success of their campaign.
Seen as a novel solution at first, the foresight of the Welsh team came into its own when the French team were hit by coronavirus in their training camp mid-tournament, forcing their game against Scotland to be rescheduled. That in itself led to a fitting finale to one of the most memorable tournaments in living history, with Scotland beating France, enabling the Welsh to take home the championship title.
Oli Yeo, inventor, founder and Managing Director of GripHero, commented: “GripHero was designed to help forecourts protect motorists from contamination, foul-smelling hands and the contraction of viruses or illness from fuel pump handles. Using specially designed nozzle-mounted dispensers, we provide protection to motorists on each and every fuel pump, so there’s never a lack of protection at the exact point where it is needed. The protection that GripHero dispensers provide forms a barrier between the hand and hard surfaces, breaking the chain of contraction and keeping hands clean. Releasing one item at a time, the GripHero hand-protection is large enough for big hands and can be recycled. That was a perfect match for the Welsh rugby team’s requirements.
“To say that we were a little surprised by the Welsh team’s request for our wall mounted dispensers was something of an understatement, but it made complete sense. And they are not alone. We’ve had demand from schools, offices, the England hockey team, and we’ve also protected members of the home nations during a number of their overseas rubgby matches this summer.”
In all instances GripHero provides a simple, easy and cost-effective way of protecting large numbers of individuals, without the constant need for hand-sanitisation, which can thin and damage the skin.
Rolled out across 70% of services stations on the UK’s motorways and thousands of forecourts up and down the UK (including supermarkets and international oil companies), GripHero continues to evolve. Earlier this year, it launched the world’s first 100% recycled hand-protection, joining GripHero’s range of static-safe materials that make it the only dispenser permitted in the fuelling zone at forecourts internationally.
Having taken the decision to provide dispensers free to forecourts internationally in the battle against coronavirus, GripHero can now be found on five continents. Not bad for a company founded in 2017.
Today, with growing demand for best-practice hygiene and safety at pumps and in other locations – particularly following the coronavirus pandemic – GripHero has found a niche that is expected to see the Devon-based business continue to grow rapidly as it expands to meet global demand.