League1BC welcomes Rivers FC as founding License Holder

One of the best sporting communities in the province will now be home to BC’s new Semi-Professional Adult League

Nov 5, 2021 – Vancouver BC / Kamloops BC

The City of Kamloops is not just a great place for outdoor recreation, it’s also becoming a destination for tournaments and events thanks to the community’s volunteer spirit and hosting expertise.  Not to mention, there’s an enviable inventory of fantastic facilities, including the McArthur Island complex. 

Now, the City will host League1 BC competition starting in May of 2022 for both males and females, in the form of “Rivers FC”.  The club identity is inspired by Interior's unique topography carved over centuries by the mighty North and South Thompson Rivers, reflected in the colours “Thompson Rivers Blue” and “Okanagan Sunrise”. Like the Rivers themselves, the club hopes to connect the region, while adopting some of the virtues that define both arms of the Thompson; strength, speed, at times beauty, and sometimes danger.    

“The board of directors and staff of Rivers FC, and the entire soccer community in Kamloops, is thrilled to have been chosen to participate in the inaugural season of League 1 BC,” says club President Nick Rinaldi. “The introduction of a semi-professional level of play in BC is another giant step in the player, coach and referee development ladder that bodes well for the future of the game in our province. The opportunities that this new league will provide is limitless.”

Rivers FC Technical Director, John Antulov, added; “I am delighted to be involved with Rivers FC. It is vital to have a semi-pro circuit in BC, especially with a franchise in the interior. This is a crucial piece in the development pathway for players, coaches, referees and staff who want to go further in the game and play professionally, as well as with our Canadian national teams. In the interior specifically, it will be that missing piece that will keep players in the game competing at a high level.”

BC Soccer’s Operations Manager Gabriel Assis, who will oversee League1 Operations is excited about seeing the Thompson Okanagan region represented: “Rivers FC highlights our commitment to grow the game in our Province. The Club will allow us to bring a new level of competition to the Interior Region. We invite all communities around Kamloops to embrace and support the club and the League. We can’t wait for the home opener!"

Although the club is based in Kamloops, Rivers FC is excited to welcome soccer fans from all other “River” communities across the region, including Ashcroft, Barriere, Chase, Cache Creek, Merritt, Monte Creek, Pritchard, Sorrento and all others. 

Safe Sport Statement

BC Soccer believes that everyone involved in soccer has the right to participate in safe and inclusive environments free of abuse, harassment, discrimination, and to enjoy the sport at whatever level or capacity they participate in. The welfare of everyone involved in soccer is the foremost consideration and in particular, the protection of children in the sport is the responsibility of everyone involved.

About League1 BC

League1 BC is an adult open age Pro-Am Soccer League operated by BC Soccer. Established in 2021, the league is intended to bridge the gap between youth and professional soccer, targeting the “Training to Compete” stage within Long-term Player Development (LTPD). The League will engage communities across British Columbia providing standard-based competition and training environments for female and male players, coaches, and match officials. League1 BC serves as a key platform of development into further opportunities within the game.

About BC Soccer

Established in 1904, BC Soccer is the largest provincial sports organization (PSO) in BC and the third largest soccer-specific PSO in Canada with over 150,000 participants, consisting of registered players, coaches, referees, administrators and soccer leaders. As a professional not-for-profit society and a member of Canada Soccer, BC Soccer is committed to providing the widest opportunities for existing and potential participants, as well as provide support in the most