The roots of the Ridgebacks and the Lords

UOIT_ Ridgebacks Logo DC_Lords


The UOIT Ridgebacks and the Durham Lords are two familiar sporting names around campus, but just how did the respective names come to fruition?

The roots of both names are very different, with the Lords nickname created in 1970 and the Ridgebacks name being used in sports since 2006.


The Lords get their name from Lord Simcoe, who was a British army officer in the late 1700’s; he eventually became lieutenant-governor of what was known as Upper Canada (Ont.).

Lord Simcoe left a legacy in Canada after abolishing slavery and has a civic holiday named after him on the first Monday of August.

So Durham College saw it fit to have its mascot and sports teams named after him as a tribute.

“Although not gender neutral, the female teams wear the Lords as well as the male teams and it has been tested over the years, but they are proud to have the Lords as their nickname,” said Ken Babcock, athletic director for Durham.

As well as the nickname, the colours for Durham were also created and have always been green and yellow. The corporate colours have changed several times over the years but the two key colours have been maintained.

Babcock says that the colours have developed into a strong brand and he has strong ambitions for the Lords apparel in the future.

“I’d like to see our varsity gear sold at licensed sporting centres, so fans can pick it up,” Babcock said.

The Ridgebacks have a much more modern history as the school was only founded in 2002.

An on-campus committee was formed of mostly students and some staff who wanted to be a part of the forming of the name.

“Anyone could put in name requests, and before we knew it we had a binder of around 100 suggestions,” said Scott Barker, manager for UOIT intercollegiate athletics.

The committee narrowed the suggestions down to three names- the Ridgebacks, the Copperheads and the Motion.

They all had relevance to Oshawa but the ultimate goal for the university was for the name to be unique to not just Ontario but North America too.

So the Ridgebacks were born.

The name relates to a powerful hunting dog used to track down lions and the name couldn’t have been a better choice, according to Barker.

“It was a slam dunk once we discovered the meaning and what the name stood for, everything linked perfectly to the Ridgebacks,” Barker said.

The marketing and communications staff subsequently formed the blue and white colour scheme and a former student working with the department created the logo.