Sporting Colours

Sporting colours, more often known merely as colours or house-colours, are awarded to members of a university or school who have excelled in a sport. Colours are traditionally worn in or on scarves, ties, blazers, gowns, cuff-links, and other items of apparel. The award system gives rise to phrases such as an Oxford Blue, meaning a person who was awarded a Blue by the University of Oxford.

In some award schemes, it is possible to receive a half colour, such as a Half-Blue. Typically, a given institution will award a single colour; for example, Cambridge and Oxford awards are different shades of blue, and the University of London awards a Purple.

American universities tend to award a varsity letter rather than a colour.

The system is common in the majority of British independent schools and old schools of Australia and Sri Lanka. Often blazers are given to denote pupils who have achieved in a sport. The blazers are often distinct from the standard school blazer though often colours simply take the form of embellished arms or braided cord or ribbon edging on the standard blazer. Ties are also used as a common way of displaying representative colours.

  • Oxford University, Oxford University Rifle Club Half Blue blazer and tie.

  • Cambridge University Half Blue blazer and bow tie.

  • An example of a blazer pocket from Carey Baptist Grammar School with school colours in umpiring and musical theatre, as well as house colours and music insignia. Pockets are a common method of displaying awards.

Famous quotes containing the words colours and/or sporting:

    Your wits can’t thicken in that soft moist air, on those white springy roads, in those misty rushes and brown bogs, on those hillsides of granite rocks and magenta heather. You’ve no such colours in the sky, no such lure in the distances, no such sadness in the evenings. Oh the dreaming! the dreaming! the torturing, heart-scalding, never satisfying dreaming, dreaming, dreaming, dreaming!
    George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)

    I once heard of a murderer who propped his two victims up against a chess board in sporting attitudes and was able to get as far as Seattle before his crime was discovered.
    Robert Benchley (1889–1945)