Bedakian: Y9 kits bring York Region’s spirit of adventure to life

The nine stripes on York9 FC’s inaugural kits came to life at Macron’s headquarters in Bologna, Italy, far away from the nine communities of York Region.

The original idea was to go clean and simple.

Minimalistic, even.

But Macron had a different idea: Give the Nine Stripes, well … nine stripes.

York9 FC's home kit. (Click to view full size).
York9 FC’s home kit. (Click to view full size).

On the predominantly-white home strip, nine green stripes run along the midsection surrounded by the club’s signature colour “charcoal grey.” On the away, nine sublimated stripes appear on the green torso.
It was too cool an idea to turn down. Too fitting.

And so it stuck.

Looking closer at the home kit, the names of all nine communities are embossed on the back of the kit, something the club hopes will bring people together.

See, York9 has a bigger mission in place: Uniting Newmarket, Aurora and Richmond Hill, Markham, East Gwillimbury, and King, Vaughan, Whitchurch-Stouffville, and Georgina – the nine municipalities of York Region – together under one green banner.

Both kits also feature a sublimated trillium, Ontario’s provincial flower. We’ll see how Forge FC feels about that in the coming weeks as the ‘905 Derby’ develops into a fierce rivalry.

York9 FC's away kits. (Click to view full size).
York9 FC’s away kits. (Click to view full size).

On a personal note, York Region holds a special place in my heart.

Though I was born in North York, just within Toronto’s city limits, York proper is where I often adventured.

Whether it was a trip to Vaughan Mills to buy a turkey fryer or a fishing rod from that massive hunting store, or that time I found the most incredible bowl of ramen in Richmond Hill, or weekend nights with friends at the drive-in theatre in Newmarket, or a Sunday visit to the trading card booths at Pacific Mall with my younger brother, York Region has played home to many special little moments.

It’s been a playground. And, for a budding young soccer fan, it was also a frequent reminder that soccer is and always will be a Canadian sport, too – you need not look further than World Cup celebrations in places like Woodbridge to see exactly how so.

It’s why, instead of focusing entirely on the design process behind the kits, I thought it’d be nice to take a more personal approach in this story.

Because, beyond the stitching, beyond the collars or the stripes or the colours, a football kit is a symbol of home.

And these kits? At their heart, they’re a waving flag, uniting a region that has for too long been overshadowed by the big city to its south.