The 12th Annual President’s Luncheon for Varsity Sport

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: April 13, 2022 9:00 a.m.

John Herdman, former Head Coach of the Canadian Women’s Soccer Team, will speak at this year’s event.
John Herdman, former Head Coach of the Canadian Women’s Soccer Team, will speak at this year’s event. John Herdman

The University of Regina’s President’s Luncheon for Varsity Sport is back for its 12th year on Thursday, May 5! Year after year, our campus and athletics communities have come together to raise money for the U of R’s outstanding student-athletes.

With the uncertainty and challenges caused by the pandemic, this year’s event will be presented in a virtual format, with plans to return to an in-person event next year.

Dr. Harold Riemer, Professor and Dean with the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies, says the President’s Luncheon for Varsity Sport is one of the most critical fundraising events for the U of R’s varsity sport programs.

“The funds raised will be used by our coaches to provide their student-athletes with a great varsity sport experience, both on and off the field. It also helps to ensure they have absolutely the best teams possible, to compete in the very tough Canada West conference,” says Dr. Riemer. “Without our campus community’s support, our varsity sport programs will not be able to compete on the recruiting trail or for conference championships.”

This year’s event features two incredible speakers that attendees can enjoy from the comfort of their home or office.

Kayla Grey

Kayla Grey is the host and co-executive producer of TSN’s The Shift with Kayla Grey, appears regularly as an anchor of SportsCentre, and reports courtside for TSN’s live coverage of the Toronto Raptors. She reported on the Toronto Raptors’ historic NBA championship run for TSN in 2019, and also joined CTV’s fan-favourite series The Amazing Race Canada as an official race correspondent for The Amazing Race Canada: Ride Along.

Kayla Grey, host and co-executive producer of TSN’s The Shift with Kayla Grey, will speak at this year’s event.
Photo: Kayla Grey

A graduate of Toronto’s College of Sports Media, Grey began her broadcasting career as an analyst for the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and various university varsity sports. She then moved to Winnipeg as a Digital Broadcast Journalist for Global News, and then to Prince Rupert, British Columbia to become a senior reporter for CFTK-TV news. She became the first Black woman to host a flagship sports highlight show in Canada when she made her SportsCentre debut in 2018.

"When it comes to breaking barriers, the best way that I know is to show up authentically as myself and live my truth,” says Grey. “This allows me to speak up for the multiple causes that I'm passionate about and I am very excited to share my journey with everyone at the President’s Luncheon for Varsity Sports."

John Herdman

As the former Head Coach of the Canadian Women’s Soccer Team, John Herdman took a group once called a “struggling squad” to one that captured the hearts and minds of Canadians. Under his leadership, the team won two back-to-back bronze medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, and a gold medal at the Pan Am Games ― the first Pan Am gold in Canadian soccer history. In his riveting talk, Herdman will explain the importance of vision, passion, and discipline to achieve success, whether it’s on the field or in the office.

Prior to leading the Canadian women’s team, Herdman was the head coach of the New Zealand Women's National Football team from 2006-2011, where his players saw competition at the FIFA Women's World Cups in 2007 and 2011, and at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

“I’m really looking forward to connecting and sharing my story with the University of Regina community,” says Herdman. “It’s been a unique time for the sport of soccer in the last 12 months and I look forward to presenting some of the key learnings and unique experiences I’ve gained.”

President's Luncheon for Varsity Sport

The net proceeds of the President’s Luncheon for Varsity Sport will support scholarships and program enhancement for University of Regina student-athletes. Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted both varsity sports and athletics-related fundraising. The support that fundraisers and events like the President’s Luncheon for Varsity Sport provide are more critical than ever. The President’s Office is matching all funds raised up to $150,000.

“Our student-athletes represent the University of Regina incredibly well, both as role models for youth in the community, and as competitors on the national stage,” says Dr. Jeff Keshen, President and Vice-Chancellor. “The pride and school spirit that they inspire in all of us is tremendously important to the University. Now it’s once again our turn to support them through this exciting fundraising event.”

Interested in supporting the U of R’s student athletes? The virtual President’s Luncheon for Varsity Sport takes place on Thursday, May 5 at 12:00 p.m.

Tickets are $75 each, and registration closes at 4 p.m. on Monday, May 2. Visit the event’s registration  page for more information and to purchase tickets. Interested faculty and staff can use their APEA to purchase tickets.