The tenth annual Vikes Championship Breakfast raised $540,000 towards student athlete scholarships. APShutter.com/UVic VIkes

Vikes 10th annual breakfast raises $540,000 for athlete scholarships

Breakfast of inspiration: UVic celebrates Simon Ibell’s legacy

The tenth anniversary of the UVic Vikes Championship Breakfast on Tuesday was a celebration of Simon Ibell.

It was another successful breakfast, raising $540,000 and bringing the 10-year total to $4.4 million.

Ibell, an esteemed UVic alumnus, was originally scheduled to speak at the milestone event but died in May 2017 after battling MPS II Hunter Syndrome for 39 years.

Instead, Vikes alumni Ian Hyde-Lay, a friend and former coach of the 1990s St. Michaels University School basketball team that Ibell was part of, stepped in and delivered the keynote speech on Tuesday morning to the sold out crowd of 650 supporters in the CARSA Performance Gym.

“Pressure is the shadow of opportunity,” Hyde-Lay said, in recounting the determination, courage and humility expressed by Ibell.

RELATED: Ian Hyde-Lay to replace Simon Ibell as keynote speaker

In recognizing Ibell, UVic also announced it will use $25,000 from this year’s breakfast funds to create a new endowment award called The Simon Ibell Vikes Inspiration Award, said Clint Hamilton, the Director of Vikes Athletics and Recreation.

“This will recognize student-athletes who best model the spirit of Simon. 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.

The event was emceed by former Vikes cross country and track stand out Trish Fougner (Wellman) and current cross country and track assistant coach Hilary Stellingwerff, a two-time Olympic 1500-metre runner.

UVic is hosting the upcoming U SPORTS Cross Country National Championship at Beacon Hill Park on Nov. 12.

UVic once again matched the first $200,000 raised. The Vikes use the money in recruitment and retention of varsity level athletes.

reporter@saanichnews.com