Sporting colours

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. Often blazers are given to denote pupils who have achieved in a sport. The blazers are usually distinct from the standard school blazer. Ties are also used as a common way of displaying representative "colours".

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