If there was a medal at these Games for sartorial elegance then you’d have to agree that South Africa would be on the podium. That’s based on the back of how social media has reacted to the country’s athletes wearing their kit at Tokyo 2020, on and off the field of play.
This is a welcome change in public opinion after the last couple of Games where Team SA received flak from the public for their look and fitting of their kit at especially the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, where Chinese companies Erke and 361° supplied the clothing.
Now however, the athletes have been puffing out their chests when they’ve been walking around the Olympic village with a noticeable spring in their step.
The success story lies with Mr Price Sport, who have been responsible in restoring Team SA’s previously battered image. There’s always a behind the scenes story and they are indeed worthy of that tag. Mr Price Sport is the Official Technical Partner of the South African Olympic and Paralympic teams to Tokyo, but they have made a considerable contribution to the country at large.
“We are acutely aware of the impact the recent social unrest had, especially in our ‘home’ province of KwaZulu-Natal,” explained Dylan Cherry, the Head of Marketing at Mr Price Sport. “We are a proud KZN business and after being affected by the civil unrest and seeing others around us impacted, we have put in place an extensive relief package. We are determined to help rebuild our communities,” he said.
“So far we have donated R5-million to disaster relief organisations, namely the Gift of the Givers Foundation, the Robin Hood Foundation, the Domino Foundation and City Hope Disaster Relief. We have had food parcels delivered to over 1300 factory workers in our supply chain.
“The relief fund that has been created is dedicated to the rebuilding of South Africa. And we are proud to announce that for every medal won at the Olympics and Paralympics we will donate to the relief fund,” Cherry added.
“We are linking good news stories to on-the-ground communities in KwaZulu-Natal.”
Staff at Mr Price Sport have worked tirelessly against the odds to ensure Team SA stands out at these Games when it comes to their Maxed Elite kit. The departure to Tokyo of many of the athletes came at a time when the country was being besieged by unrest. However, it is estimated that over 100 man hours went into the packing of the Team SA athletes’ kits over a three-week period.
Cherry reckoned that a total of 834 cartons of kit were distributed to over 14 destinations in South Africa to Team SA athletes and personnel heading to Tokyo.
“It’s a wonderful good news story coming out of an unfortunate situation,” Cherry said. “For the last seven months we have dedicated ourselves to ensuring that Team SA looks the part in Tokyo. The kit designers are locals and as much of the kit as possible was procured locally. It’s a victory to all the dedicated people on the ground, and when we see the athletes strut their stuff on the Olympic stage we could not be prouder,” Cherry added.
Team South Africa has collected three medals in the first seven days of competition at Tokyo 2020, and secured their first gold medal of the Games when Tatjana Schoenmaker won the women’s 200m breaststroke in world record time.