WGTN Phoenix 2020/21

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Legend has it that Wellington Harbour, originally a land-locked lake, was home to two large and very active taniwha (sea monsters in Maori mythology), who both longed for the deeper ocean. One taniwha forced a passage to the open sea, creating an entrance to the harbour. The other, named Whataitai, tried a different route, became stranded and eventually died – transforming into a phoenix-like bird, Te Keo, that flew to the closest mountain, Matairangu (Mount Victoria). It is believed that Tangi Te Keo (the original Maori name for Mt Victoria) was named after the soul of Whataitai.

Before the start of the 2019/20 A-League season, the Wellington Phoenix squad assembled at the top of Wellington’s Mount Victoria, which overlooks Wellington Harbour. Together, the team watched the sun rise at this location and then spent the day together, bonding as a team and learning about Maori culture and its significance to the Phoenix crest and ideology. The 2020/21 Wellington Phoenix home jersey pays homage to this special moment, with the yellow kit symbolising both the rising sun the team watched from the top of Mount Victoria and the presence of Whataitai at this scared location. The double black columns on the front of the jersey incorporate the topographical map of Mount Victoria in its design, reflecting the team’s deep connection to Wellington and Aotearoa.

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