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Team SA kit unveiled ahead of Commonwealth Games

Team South Africa will truly be dressed for success at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

The official team kit launch took place in spectacular style at the Mall of Africa in Midrand, Gauteng and big news for fashionistas of the rainbow nation is that Italian clothing giant Lotto Sport Italia have designed all the team’s sporting apparel.

A variety of South Africa’s most decorated sportsmen and women showed off the brand-new kit which saw a bold move away from the traditional green and gold design.

Speaking at the launch, SASCOC president Mr Gideon Sam said it was indeed a proud moment. ‘No-one is more aware than us of the past controversies surrounding some of the team kit at previous multi-code events. With this in mind we have asked the people that count, namely the athletes, to play an integral part in the kit design.

‘National sports legend Natalie du Toit, now head of the Athletes Commission at SASCOC, drove this project and I think that today the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” is particularly apt.’

For their part an official Lotto statement said: ‘Today Lotto is proud to announce the partnership with SASCOC, which confirms its commitment to the Olympic spirit. Whether you are training for the Olympics or for a local tournament, compete honourably, and Lotto will be there for you. Sportivamente!’

Founded in 1973, Lotto began its activities with the production of tennis shoes and football boots, and over the years has expanded its offerings both in the performance area and the free time area with a broad line of leisure products. Lotto distributes its products in over 100 countries worldwide, through monobrand stores, independent sports goods shops, specialised chains and large stores with specialised sports departments.

Sponsorships have always been a vital key to Lotto’s success, with past and present legends such as Ruud Gullit, Andriy Shevchenko and Luca Toni in football, and John Newcombe, Boris Becker, Martina Navratilova, David Ferrer and Agnieszka Radwańska in tennis, to name just a few.

Multiple Paralympic gold medallist, Natalie du Toit, also acted as Master of Ceremonies.

The launch got underway to the iconic sounds of American bad Black Eyed Peas hit song “Let’s get it started.”

Explained a proud Du Toit: ‘For a few months leading up to the Games, athletes watch social media with bated breath, interested in what the Australian team and the American team kit will look like. This is usually sent out at around the same time as the major qualification competitions for that specific international competition.

‘It is with pride that Team South Africa is able to do this too!

‘One of the first tasks of our Athletes Commission was to design the kit for the Commonwealth Games team 2018. We as the commission got straight to it and created something that we are proud of as a commission to present.

‘As our commission is represented by multi-coded sports players, we are proud to say that the designs have three specific aspects in mind.

‘Firstly, we have designed colour and fit to be wheelchair-friendly, secondly, we have designed colours that could be worn with any part of the kit and thirdly, we were adamant to not be completely green.

‘Thank you to the Athletes Commission and the team for the time taken, the willingness to be involved in this project as small and as big as it might seem and the manner in which you all conducted yourselves. We hope that all of South Africa rallies behind our team as our athletes take part at these Games, being as positive as we can be. We are proudly #teammzansi #positivechange”

At the launch Paralympic track ace Jonathan Ntutu wore a blue and white vest with matching blue and white shorts and women’s rugby stalwart Marithy Pienaar wore the team tracksuit.

Hockey’s Owen Mvimbi and Stephanie Baxter then modeled the green and yellow vest and three-quarter pants as well as the squares and second tracksuit pants.

Strongwoman weightlifter Celestie Engelbrecht showed off the team rain jacket and track suit pants while other official team garments were worn by hockey’s Lisa Deetlefs and sprinter Anaso Jobodwana. London Olympics gold medal-winning rower Lawrence Ndlovu and Athlete High Commission Nicola Rossouw also strutted their stuff.

The final, and perhaps fitting, demonstration came from Olympic silver medallist and reigning world champion long jumper Luvo Manyonga who wore the podium tracksuit.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be staged between 4-15 April in the east coast city of Gold Coast.


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