This year, Team SA will be stepping out at the Commonwealth Games in kit with the athletes’ and national federations’ stamp of approval. The Lotto branded kit has been manufactured in a Cape Town factory that has been vetted through the Lotto Sport Italia Programme, with design input from athletes, explains Natalie du Toit, head of the Athletes Commission at SASCOC.

Natalie du Toit introduces kit
Natalie du Toit introduces the kit. Photo: Wessel Oosthuizen.

“The kit worked on by the Athletes Commission is the generic wear for the entire team, not competition wear,” explains the multiple Olympic gold medallist swimmer. She was assisted by athletes such as rowing medallists Bridgitte Hartley and Sizwe Ndlovu, hockey player Vuyisanani Mangisa, triple jump medallist Khotso Mokoena, judoka Zack Piontek, Paralympian medallists Ernst van Dyk and Zanele Situ and member of the Athletes Commission Nicola Rossouw.

Rugby player Zintle Mpupha models the kit to be worn during the Opening ceremony. Photo: Wessel Oosthuizen.

“As our commission is represented by multi-coded sports players, we are proud to say that the designs have three specific aspects in mind,” Du Toit said at the kit launch in the Mall of Africa at the end of February, where she was also Master of Ceremonies. “Firstly, we have designed the 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.”

Hockey players Steph Baxter and Owen Mvimbi. Photo: Wessel Oosthuizen.

The competition wear is procured directly by the respective national federations utilising the International Federation specifications, she explains further. “SASCOC then approves the design line with the Commonwealth Games Federation and the respective LOC specifications in relation to the size and position of the logos. Athletes and officials complete a biodata form, which has all their information, including sizes, for each item of clothing that will be supplied for the team.”

Anaso Jobodwana
Sprinter Anaso Jobodwana. Photo: Wessel Oosthuizen.

At the launch SASCOC president Gideon Sam acknowledged the controversies that surrounded the choice of 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,” he explained. “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.”

Luvo Manyonga jumps for joy in the new Team SA tracksuit.

Lotto has been distributed in South Africa by Bearded Monkey since middle 2017, as reported by Sports Trader. Nick Aitken, quoted in the article is, however, no longer involved with the brand.

Apart from footwear, they also offer an extensive teamwear range to South African clubs and schools, and now the national team.

The Italian brand was founded 45 years ago and its performance ranges mainly focused on tennis and soccer, with stars like Ruud Gullit, Boris Becker and Martina Navratilova making the distinctive logo easily recognisable. Currently, lifestyle comprises the bulk of sales in the more than 100 countries where Lotto is distributed.