Varsity FC Rebrands As Nautsa’mawt FC
When League1 BC side Varsity FC was purchased by the Hope And Health For Life Society last month, it was made clear that the club would be undergoing a significant rebranding under the guidance of its new ownership group.
Today, the team has been reborn as Nautsa’mawt FC, a club which strives to increase Indigenous representation the Canadian sport system.
The new name of the League1 BC club is inspired by the Hulq’u’mi’num term “Nautsa’mawt”, which means ‘to move together as one heart, one mind.’ It’s a direct expansion on what was teased by the ownership group just a few weeks ago.
As the new ownership group had indicated previously, the club will still maintain a partnership with the UBC Thunderbirds on both the men’s and women’s sides, with the coaching staff helping to mentor Indigenous players and coaches.
The team will continue to play from Thunderbird Stadium in 2023, with the Thunderbirds continuing to provide support for both infrastructure and personnel.
“Nautsa’mawt FC is an exciting opportunity to make real world change, to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action to increase Indigenous representation in the Canadian sport system,” says club co-owner Bill Yoachim, who is a Snuneymuxw Nation Council member.
“We hold our hands up to UBC Athletics’ high caliber coaches and student athletes for their contributions to our communities through Hope and Health and look forward to elevating further with them as a valuable core of Nautsa’mawt FC. With this in place we are set up for winning on and off the pitch.”
The club’s traditional logo was designed by Coast Salish artist Maynard Johnny Jr, who was the man behind Pacific’s head-turning alternate kit last year. Using a copper shield shape as the base for the logo, the top half features a raven that represents transformation for all players as they progress on their pathways from grassroots to semi-pro and beyond, while the bottom half features feathers and talons reflecting the club’s primary colours.
Last year saw the club prove successful in its inaugural campaign, with both the men’s and women’s teams finishing top of their respective regular season tables. The women’s team also representied League1 BC at the first-ever League1 Canada Women’s Inter-Provincial Championship.
The star in the raven’s mouth on the logo also reflects their regular season championships, along with honouring League1 Canada’s vision to “Rise As One” and for players to reach for the stars on their journey.
The 2023 League1 BC season will introduce an expanded playoff format, and will also introduction Nanaimo’s Harbourside FC into the fray.