Fly Girl Anicka Newell is Clearing the Bar with EvoShield
Learn why Canadian pole vaulter Anicka Newell loves the versatile EvoShield wrist guards.
The EvoShield Solid Protective Wrist Guard is one of the most versatile pieces of protective gear in sports, but its uses aren’t limited to baseball and softball. For elite pole vaulters like Anicka Newell, the EvoShield wrist guard is critical to performing at the highest level.
Newell, a Canadian American from New Mexico, took up pole vaulting in high school and found success right away. The former gymnast had the core strength and athleticism to handle the high-flying sport, and she won back-to-back state titles during her junior and senior seasons. Early on in her pole vault career, Newell recognized she needed wrist protection, and EvoShield fit the bill.
“If you do it correctly, on your bottom hand, the pole will automatically kind of hit you on your wrist when you’re going upside-down. It’s just the way pole vaulting is. You kind of tuck your elbow on the inside, and the pole gives you a nice little kiss to your wrist,” Newell said. “I started forming this giant bruise. It was swelling up like a little golf ball, and someone had told me to get a wrist guard.”
Newell tested out different sweat bands but found them too bulky on her wrists. At a meet in high school, she saw another vaulter using an EvoShield guard, and she was immediately intrigued.
“I was like, ‘Where did you get this wrist guard?’ She told me, ‘It’s in the baseball section!’” Newell said. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, the baseball section? Alright, I’ll go check it out.’”
Newell visited a nearby sporting goods store to pick up her first EvoShield wrist guard. After testing it out, she was hooked and made it a permanent staple in her pole vault gear collection.
“I love them. They’re perfect and super sleek,” Newell said. “I like how tight they are. That’s really important to me.”
EvoShield’s Pole Vault Connection
Newell, 27, has used EvoShield wrist guards for a decade while climbing the competitive pole vault ranks. After graduating from high school, she went on to compete and study at Texas State University, where she collected accolades like conference championships, a conference pole vault record and an All-American honor.
Newell’s first taste of major international competition came in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Over the last five years, she has become a top-20 global pole vaulter and the top female pole vaulter in Canada.
The Albuquerque native isn’t the only elite pole vaulter to rely on EvoShield wrist guards. Across the sport’s landscape, top vaulters wear EvoShield as they soar over the bar.
“This is an actual thing,” Newell said of EvoShield’s pole vault connection. “If you go to any pole vault competition, look at their left wrist, and you’ll notice a ton of EvoShield.”
Newell’s custom EvoShield wrist guards feature her signature “Fly Girl” logo, highlighting her nickname and Instagram handle, @flygirl93.
“I love them,” she said. “I’m so excited to debut the wrist guards.”
Anicka Newell’s 2021 Training
In a typical year, Newell will go back and forth between the United States and Canada to train with her Canadian teammates. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, she has trained on her own in Texas, her adopted home state.
“Usually, I make a couple trips out to Canada to our Olympic training hubs each year,” Newell said. “I have not been able to do that because last year or this year because of the COVID restrictions, so I actually haven’t been home in a long time.”
Newell works one-on-one with the same pole vault coach who she worked with in college. Her training regimen in Texas includes two pole practices each week, weight training, strength training and other exercises
“I feel like this is the best situation for me, even without having training partners,” Newell said. “I have somebody who writes my workouts, and I basically just follow them to the tee.”
Newell has set personal records in the last year, clearing 4.70 meters (15 feet, 5 inches) in January. Her goal for this August is to reach the podium for Canada. Follow Anicka’s pole vault journey on Instagram @flygirl93 and on Twitter @anickabn.