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By Jai Rakic – ISN

Victoria (ISN) – If you’ve been to a Victoria Highlanders game recently, or even walked past the Cook Street end of Royal Athletic Park while the Highlander men’s team is playing you’ve probably seen, or at least heard the Lake Side Buoys.

Like every other football club around the world, the Victoria Highlanders have their own support section and they go by the name of the Lake Side Buoys.

The name, or at least the Buoys part of it, plays as a parody to other supporter groups around the world (like the Glasgow Bhoys) who could be accused of taking themselves too seriously. The Lake Side portion however came about when, at the Highlanders past home at Bear Mountain Stadium, the group would congregate around a pond they called their summer home.

The “Lakeside Buoys” (and girls), are a regular fixture at Highlander Men’s games -Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The Lake Side Buoys have a core group of around 15 people who religiously attend all Highlander games, some donning kilts, bagpipes and commonly a pint (of beer).

This eccentric and passionate group of people all have a great love for the game of soccer (or football as it’s most commonly known around the world) as well as fanatic support for the Victoria Highlanders.

The Lake Side Buoys mission is to cheer, sing and chant with as much conviction as possible to show their support for the Highlanders as well as intimidate opposition teams.

But it’s not all just about beer and singing.  As well as showing their support for the Victoria Highlanders, the Lake Side Buoys have recently taken up another cause, as have many other supporters in the world of football. These die-hard football fans are protesting the new owners of Cardiff City’s FC (Wales, United Kingdom) decision to change the teams century old team colours and crest.

In addition to supporting the Highlanders, the “Buoys” are joining the worlwide protest against the decision by Cardiff City FC to change their century old team colours -Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

This decision has aggravated countless loyal Cardiff fans as well as many other supporter groups around the world who feel supporting a football club is all about sharing an identity and a sense of belonging with like-minded companions and they feel that by rebranding the teams image goes completely against those beliefs.

“So now all these supporter groups around the world are banding together to show their support for Cardiff…we support you 110% here from Victoria, BC,” said Lake Side Buoy Mike Schlodder.

The decision by Cardiff City’s new owners was based purely on the notion of generating more income for the club who have a historic debt to Malaysian investors. Cardiff City fans are skeptical about the financial advantages and want assurances of how it will benefit the club as well as a promise that there will be no additional rebranding plans to further distance Cardiff City FC from it’s historic identity.

If you want to share in the buoyant spirits of the Lake Side Buoys, look for them at any Victoria Highlanders home game in their specifically designated section behind the goal at the Cook street end of Royal Athletic Park.

“The Lake Side Buoys are an open group and we welcome any football supporter to come down here and join us. The more people there are, the louder we can be to support the Highlanders,” said Schlodder.