The Lions roar at York

The following information is from a Sport York news release.

When York University’s varsity teams roar into action this fall, a new era begins for the country’s third largest university.

Sport York and York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science announced yesterday that beginning in the 2003-2004 university year, all York varsity sport teams will be known as the Lions.

The name change comes as a result of a three-year process of consultation with students, athletes, coaches, alumni and the York community. Surveys, newspaper articles, focus groups and community meetings were used to obtain feedback from the various groups.

“The name Lions encompasses both our women’s and men’s teams as well as reinforces York’s goal of striving for excellence,” said Prof. Patricia Murray, York’s director of sport and recreation, School of Kinesiology & Health Science.

“Lions are identified with strength, courage and determination. And, while we will continue to celebrate our proud Yeomen and Yeowomen history, we look forward to a bright and successful future as the Lions.”

The name change follows a trend in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) in which 46 of 50 CIS schools use one nickname for both their men’s and women’s teams. It also complements York University’s new branding strategy, which was implemented in the fall of 2002 with a new visual identity. The Lion already holds a prominent place in York University’s identity, as it is part of the institution’s coat-of-arms.

This is not the first name change for York’s varsity teams. In the early history of the program, there were team names such as the Windigoes, Ravens, Jolly Millers and Rosies. The Yeomen nickname was introduced in 1968, while Yeowomen was added in the mid-1970s. Both nicknames will be inducted into the York University Sport Hall of Fame and will forever hold a place in York’s history.

The new logo will assist Sport York with marketing and overall image-building, bring excitement to promotions and merchandising and connect the sport image to the University’s new branding strategy.

The York Lions compete in 29 varsity sports within Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and CIS. The program offers 15 women’s and 14 men’s teams.