These colourful shoes will be part of the SA Olympic team's uniform
- South African Olympic and Paralympic athletes will wear Veldskoen shoes at the opening of this year's Olympics in Tokyo.
- The CEO of Veldskoen was not impressed with the national team's look in the 2016 Olympics and offered the shoes to SASCOC to better represent the country.
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With less than 100 days to go until the start of the Tokyo Olympics, a South African shoe company has announced that it will be a sponsor of the national team’s off-field Olympic uniform.
Veldskoen, a local company that makes a variety of suede and leather shoes, has officially been welcomed by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) as the national team’s Olympians and Paralympians athletes’ official off–field sponsor.
Here is how Veldskoen got on board...
During the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, members of the shoe company were not impressed with what the national team was wearing.
In efforts to remedy the situation, CEO of Veldskoen Nick Dreyer and MD Ross Zondagh shared ideas on what the team could have worn to better represent the vibrant South African spirit.
Zondagh suggested leather 'vellies' - popular in South Africa - as an option. Dreyer took the idea further, suggesting a touch of colour on the soles and laces to make the shoe stand out.
Dreyer and Zondagh registered Veldskoen Shoes (Pty) Ltd in 2017 and began to sell the fresh designs. By 2020, the company had successfully entered the US, UK, Europe, Zimbabwe and Zambian markets. The company counts Brian Joffe (Bidvest founder) and US actor Ashton Kutcher among its shareholders.
The brown suede shoes have soles and laces that come in six different colours - blue, yellow, black, green and red - to represent the colours of the Olympic rings.
The name veldskoen comes from the Afrikaans word vel (skin), combined with veld (field), and skoene (shoes).
Years after finding the perfect shoes and creating the Veldskoen brand, Dreyer posted a video on Facebook in which he pleaded with the public to help him reach the national Olympics team and give them the shoes to wear at this year’s Tokyo Olympics, at no cost.
“Nick Dreyer made a video asking South Africans to get behind Veldskoen as the shoe for our Olympians. The next day, SASCOC contacted us, and the conversation began,” said head of content at Veldskoen Anna Greenfield.
SASCOS has now made the shoe – which costs R999 a pair – the official shoe for South African athletes at this year’s Olympic opening ceremony in Tokyo.