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NI athlete disappointed over failure to include home country on GB kit


British Athletics unveiled their new kit last week. Pic: British Athletics.

British Athletics unveiled their new kit last week. Pic: British Athletics.

British Athletics unveiled their new kit last week. Pic: British Athletics.

A Northern Ireland athlete has been saddened by British Athletics’ decision to omit any mention of her home country on the Great Britain sports kit.

The team gear, which is being worn at this summer's major championships, was unveiled last week amid a campaign aimed at promoting “diversity and togetherness”.

But the failure to include Northern Ireland has struck a nerve with many, including sprint hurdler Megan Marrs (24).

“As gorgeous as this new kit is, I can't pretend part of me wasn't hoping it would say ‘United Kingdom’ or include Northern Ireland in some way,” the Belfast athlete tweeted.

The kit does now include the Union flag for the first time since it was removed from the design in 2015.

A spokesperson for the governing body pointed out that kits have always been under the team name ‘Great Britain’, which now appears in even larger print.

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They said the inclusion of the union flag “is the element that represents the entire UK”.

It’s understood the decision to reinstate the flag was in response to strong feedback from both athletes and fans over the past seven years.

Speaking during the kit launch, interim CEO of UK Athletics Mark Munro said: “We are grateful to Nike for designing and launching this striking new kit ahead of one of our biggest ever summer campaigns.

"To have the GB and NI athletes competing with the union flag returned to its rightful place and a fresh dynamic look is a further boost in what is lining up to be an exciting few months.

“We’re delighted that our new campaign works in tandem with revealing our new GB and NI kit for the summer.

“Where it Starts is about recognising where the GB and NI team athletes came from, how they got started and highlighting the inclusivity of the sport.

"Every athlete pulling on the vest started somewhere, whether a local club, school sports, community events or street athletics – the list is endless.

“We want to wish all our athletes the best of luck for a summer full of action and this weekend is literally ‘where it starts’ for the journey ahead.”

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