County Team Colours
Over the years the KAA has selected members for its county team based on individual performance and brought them together on the day of the match. This often means that members of the team only get to meet the rest of the team just before the start of the match – new members especially may not be known by everyone else. One consequence of this has been that it is often difficult, particularly at larger events, to identify other team members and therefore for members to encourage and support their team mates.
The KAA Committee discussed whether team colours would be a good idea in July 2009; following that meeting team colours were registered with ArcheryGB to give us the option of using them in 2010, if the idea and design met with the approval of members. From then on it became the task of Peter Dallas, the County Captain, to find out how popular and practical the idea was.
At last year's SCAS Inter-Counties Senior Team Tournament at Andover it was apparent that counties that had adopted readily identifiable team colours or a prominent logo, had a much better feeling of identity and team spirit, a willingness to support and encourage other members of the team and a closeness and recognition of other team members.
A straw poll of our team at that event resulted in every team member supporting a team colour shirt and feeling it would encourage team unity and identity. A number of archers outside of the present teams have also been asked whether they would favour a team kit, if selected, and the results were 100% in favour. At the 2009 AGM a proposal to increase the county membership fees to provide additional support for the county team, including a subsidy for team shirts, was agreed by a substantial majority.
Peter presented a number of options for team strip for discussion immediately after that AGM and the favoured option was a design incorporating the white horse of Kent, the name of the association and 'County Team' on the back of a polo- or sweatshirt. Since then Peter has been searching for suppliers, colours, and costs that meet the available budget and that would promote a strong Kent County Team identity.
After innumerable phone calls, emails, texts, hair pulling, visualisations, calming words and enormous help from Mike Brighton, Peter was able to present a sample sweatshirt with the white horse logo and KAA name to the committee at the March meeting. It would be immodest, but true, to say that the final design met with considerable enthusiasm – it is bold but not brash and the quality of the basic garment is excellent.
We hope that shirts will be available in time for the county indoor match in early April. While we do not suggest that a shirt and logo will solve all of the county team's problems, it is one step in creating an identity – and without that identity, it is much more difficult to generate a feeling of pride.
While polo- and sweatshirts with "County Team"d on them will only be available to county team members, a version without that is available to everyone to purchase. We sincerely hope that Kent archers will like it and a full list of prices and how to order will be available as soon as all the details are finalised with the supplier.
The white horse is reputed to be the old symbol for the Saxon kingdom of Kent, dating from around the 6th-8th century. More recently it wasd as the primary charge (symbol) in the heraldic arms of the county of Kent that were granted in 1933 and reconfirmed in 1975. The motto "Invicta" means "Unconquered".
Today the white horse and the Invicta motto are synonymous with Kent.
The traditional background colour for the county was dark red / maroon, although in more recent times it is more often true red, as used in the arms of Kent and the County Council's logo.
The logo of the Kent Archery Association is a dark red shield and on it the white horse of Kent superimposed on a 'volley' of gold arrows.