The Victoria Royals unveiled their one-of-a-kind Lunar New Year jerseys in a ceremony at the Victoria Chinese Public School, which will be worn at their home game against the Kelowna Rockets this Saturday, Jan. 14.
The uniforms feature symbols and iconography of Chinese culture associated with the Lunar New Year, and are styled in the lucky colours of red and gold alongside the usual Royals home white.
The game is being sponsored by Fancy Ching Wealth Management, a local financial advisor group headed by Fancy Ching, a native of Hong Kong who has called Victoria home for the past 30 years.
In celebration of the Lunar New Year and the connection between the Royals and the local Chinese community, Fancy Wealth Management will be donating $10,000 to both the Victoria Chinese Public School and Victoria Big Brothers and Sisters during the game.
Ching believes the jerseys and celebration will help inspire cultural diversity and inclusivity in the city:
“When Brett [Halpenny, Director of Sales for the Royals] approached me about the Lunar New Year game I said ‘Oh wow!’,” said Ching at the jersey unveiling ceremony. “I think part of that was the community recognizing Chinese traditions and inclusivity.”
“Each group has their own heritage and sometimes we don’t understand each other’s heritage and that can lead to some misunderstandings, and misunderstanding leads to conflict,” added Ching. “So if we have the opportunity to introduce why we are doing things this way, why we celebrate and what our tradition is, it will help us understand each other better and living together in harmony.”
A large group of students and staff at the Victoria Chinese Public School have been invited to attend the game on Saturday, an experience that Ching believes will provide a positive impact on their lives:
“It’s important for the kids to see role models,” said Ching. “That is part of our traditions, how we want to bring up the kids, how we want to continue the tradition, the heritage. I have been supporting the Chinese School for years and I think one of the more important elements is not just teaching the kids academically, but also passing on values.”
This sentiment was echoed by Royals General Manager and Head Coach Dan Price, who is excited to have the opportunity to celebrate Lunar New Year and Victoria’s Chinese community at Saturday’s game:
“Organizationally, I can say it’s a huge part of our philosophy and our culture, to be as connected to the community as possible, and this is one example of that,” said Price. “That’s probably one of the biggest things we strive to do, to be a positive example in the community, to create that connection for other youth to strive towards.”
“We’re really looking forward to everyone joining us at the game, participating in the celebration of Chinese culture and Lunar New Year and the Year of the Rabbit,” added Price. “We think it’s going to be a great year for the Royals and for the City of Victoria.”
The Lunar New Year jerseys will be made available for purchase through an online auction conducted prior and during the game. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Victoria Chinese Heritage Foundation supporting the Victoria Chinese Public School Scholarship Fund.
Several other exciting promotions will also be held during the game, including performances by Victoria-based Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club Dragon Dancers, food and drink specials and the handing out of lucky red envelopes to fans before the game.
The game is set to begin at 6:05 pm on Saturday, Jan. 14 at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Downtown Victoria.