Sporting Colours, more often known merely as Colours are awarded to members of the National Federation (NF) who have excelled in the sport. Colours are traditionally worn in or on scarves, ties, blazers, gowns, cuff links, and other items of apparel. It is the highest award that an athlete or official can earn in recognition of their achievements.

The NF is the South African National Archery Association (SANAA). SANAA is a member in good standing of the World Archery Federation, World Archery Africa and the Commonwealth Archery Committee. It is also a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). Membership of SANAA is open to all members in good standing of clubs recognised by the provincial body as well as any organisation that fulfil basic membership requirements.

There are currently four main bodies that are authorised to issue Colours, each on different levels and under different conditions. Clubs of course, have the right to issue their own Colours, but only the clubs themselves recognises these.


Provincial Colours

At provincial level, on the recommendation of the provincial archery body to the Provincial Sports Confederation, members who have reached specific standards (set by the province), and who are participating in recognised National Championships are eligible. Only provincial bodies that are recognised by SANAA may apply for Provincial Colours. All national championships as published in the SA Archer are eligible tournaments for provincial Colours. Members who shoot at national championships represent the province and not themselves as individuals. Once Colours are awarded, they are held for life. Provincial Colours are controlled through the Constitution of the Provincial Sports Confederation, a body that comprises of elected volunteers from the various sporting codes.

Provincial Colours can only be awarded if the recipient is representing the province at a national event that is recognised by the national Federation. For example, National Championships or National Indoor Championships.


Association or National Colours

Associate members recognised by the NF have the authority to issue National Colours (often called Association Colours). Once again, certain standards have to be reached. These standards are publicised and are governed by the Constitution of the National Association. The NF recognises Association Colours as the highest award that the national body can award a member for both officials and athletes.

Who is SASCOC?

SASCOC is South Africa’s national multi-coded sporting body responsible for the preparation, presentation and performance of teams to all multi-coded events, namely the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Commonwealth Games, World Games, All Africa Games, Olympic Youth Games, Commonwealth Youth Games and Zone VI Games.

SASCOC is the governmental body that regulates all South African sports. So, if you want to represent your country in a sport, then SASCOC is the body that you will have to work through. Membership is granted by belonging to your specific sports discipline federation, and that federation being an affiliate of SASCOC.

SASCOC is also responsible for the awarding of National Protea Colours to athletes and officials who have met the criteria to represent South Africa in different sporting codes and arenas. The organisation also endorses the applications for Bidding and Hosting of international events, providing specific criteria are all met.


National Federation Colours

Federation Colours are governed by the Colours Board regulations. The rules read:

16(1) National federations (NF’s) are entitled to their own colours, emblems and insignia which they award and use as they please. This also applies to NOCSA, DISSA, SACGA, AAG, SASSU and USSASA. “Federation” colours can be used in the case of invitation matches, “B”- and Veteran (Master)- sides, “Development” teams competing against other countries in friendly matches honorary/long service awards, etc.

16(2) No national federation is allowed to use the Protea, or any combination thereof as NF’s colours or in a manner similar to that of the two marks as used for purposes of awarding national colours.

16(3) National federations are allowed to incorporate in their designs the Protea, and a combination thereof, provided that such inclusion will not demean the national symbol, nor create an impression that such a design is in fact a national symbol.

16(4) “National colours” are reserved for international participation only, i.e. not for domestic competitions and as such are reserved for the very best athletes representing South Africa in competitions of the highest level (continental and world championships, or “test matches” against fully representative teams or individuals from another country/countries. National colours can be awarded in the form of colours (the badge is embroidered in gold on green background).

16(5) The national badge consists of the logo with the wording SOUTH AFRICA appearing under it followed by the name of the code of sport, e.g. Athletics. The only other wording allowed on the badge is the designation “MANAGER” /“Assistant Manager” and/or “COACH”/ Assistant Coach. In the case of multi-coded teams the additional wording e.g. “COMMONWEALTH GAMES 1998″ will also appear on the badge.


SA Colours Board: Protea Colours

The NF can recommend to the SA Colours Board that a member who has achieved certain standards and who will be competing in a recognized international event, be awarded Protea Colours. Protea Colours are controlled through legislation by the National Colours Board [Section 11 Act 110 of 1998].

Article 12(1) of the regulations state that “National colours shall be awarded to members of national federations and macro bodies who are members of the General Assembly and are recognised as such by the Commission.” SANAA is a member of the Presidents Council and a member of the General Assembly.

There are a number of important points which are common to the awarding of Colours and which validates the accolade:

  • That the member is in good standing with the NF.
  • That there are clear and defined standards
  • That participation takes place.

Standards are significant and which is why we publish their requirements. Article 12(2) of the regulations state “…. may only apply as such only for sportsmen and sportswomen who represent South Africa in international competitions of the required nature and standard as recommended by the national federation and macro body and approved by the Commission.”

These basic conditions apply to both officials and athletes. Any organization or body who purports to be able to award Colours can be found guilty of an offence.

When it comes to Protea Colours, Section 10(1) of the regulations state that a person may not;

  • without the necessary authority, use the national colours or any colours confusingly or deceptively similar thereto in the course of trade or otherwise;
  • project himself or herself as representing South Africa in a sporting authority without written consent from the SASC;
  • unlawfully and without the authority of the Board misrepresent that he or she is entitled to wear national colours;
  • commit any act or causes the commission thereof, which brings the national colours into disrepute.

The penalty for transgression is a fine not exceeding R25,000. In a recent ruling, the Colours Board and Sascoc advised that no member may wear apparel with the Protea Colours if they are not competing in a recognized international event.

The regulations define clearly who qualifies for Colours and takes into account unfair selection. For example,

13(2) A selection process shall be deemed unfair and inequitable if:

  • qualifying players are excluded from such national team on the basis of them not being able to finance their participation in the national team;
  • qualifying players are excluded from such national team(s) on the ground of their religion, colour or creed.

Protea Colours can only be awarded if the recipient meets set national federation and Colours Board requirements and will be representing the country at a recognised and accredited international event.


The Standards

SANAA publishes its standards and score requirements shortly after the annual Congress, Each category has a different score requirement, while the conditions for the warding of Colours remain constant. These conditions can be found in our Constitution which can be downloaded from our website. Protea Colours are only awarded when the standards are reached and the athlete is to represent and compete internationally as part of the team representing the country. Members who log in to the Members Only area, will see their qualifying score for their respective category.


Qualifying Scores

Scores are only one requirement for Colours and the qualifying scores are listed below. National Colours qualification criteria are determined by the Sanaa Council at the Annual Congress (and are normally the same as the Gold Squad scores). Protea Colours are governed by the Colours Board regulations and are subject to a number of conditions, including high performance reports, tournament participation and recognised international inclusion. The score requirements for the recommendation to the National Colours Board are determined by the Sanaa Council. Not all categories are subject to the awarding of Colours.