It was milestone year for the Vikes Championship Breakfast held today, Sept. 26, in the CARSA Performance Gym in support of University of Victoria Vikes student-athletes. The 2017 event raised over $540,000, the highest annual total to date, while the 10-year total broke the $4.4 million mark.
“Let me just say your support matters,” said Clint Hamilton, Director of Vikes Athletics and Recreation, when he addressed the sold-out crowd of 650 supporters in the CARSA Performance Gym. “It continues to inspire the next generation of alumni to keep our program one of the best in Canada.”
For five years since the inaugural 2008 event, UVic has provided a match for the first $150,000 of profit raised but since 2013 that amount has been increased to $200,000. Every year, Vikes athletes contribute by setting up, taking down and serving food at the event. Degrees Catering provided breakfast, served by varsity student-athletes, while the event was proudly sponsored by Grand and Toy and PepsiCo Canada.
Former Vikes men’s basketball player Ian Hyde-Lay brought the keynote address on behalf of the late Simon Ibell, who passed in May 2017 after battling MPS II Hunter Syndrome for 39 years.
“Simon’s passion for sport and perspective on life is a true take-away for all of us and although we are sad Simon wasn’t here to share this day with us, I am grateful Ian was able to still ensure we heard that message,” added Hamilton in his remarks. “Simon was a valuable member of the Vikes and the University and I am pleased to share with you all today that we will be taking $25,000 from this year’s breakfast funds to create a new endowment award called ‘The Simon Ibell Vikes Inspiration Award.’ This will recognize student-athletes who best model the spirit of Simon.”
The event was emceed by former Vikes cross country and track standout Trish Fougner (Wellman) and current cross country and track assistant coach and two-time Olympic 1500-m runner Hilary Stellingwerff. Fougner and Stellingwerff highlighted the Live the Legacy theme of the upcoming U SPORTS Cross Country National Championship hosted in Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park on Nov. 12.
The Vikes Championship Breakfast is the largest annual fundraising event for Vikes Athletics. The support generated by the event helps with both recruitment and retention, allowing Vikes Athletics the opportunity to compete at the highest level year in and year out.