VICTORIA – It is with great sadness that Vikes Athletics and Recreation acknowledge the passing of a well-known icon from the University of Victoria campus and in the Canadian sport community. As an undergraduate at UVic, Simon Ibell (BA, ’02) was a dedicated manager to the Vikes men’s basketball program alongside head coach, the late Guy Vetrie. Ibell was front and centre when the Vikes hoisted the program’s eighth and most recent Canadian University National banner in 1997.
A graduate of Victoria’s St. Michael’s University School, Ibell suffered from an extremely rare medical condition known as Hunter syndrome. He was told numerous times he would not live to see the following year but for over 37 years Ibell spent his time giving and inspiring.
“Simon was an inspiration to all as he made a tremendous impact on our Vikes program,” said Clint Hamilton, Vikes Athletics and Recreation director. “Simon’s incredibly caring spirit, his genuine regard for those around him and his courageous attitude were an inspiration to all of those around him. Few people have the gift of making the world a better place to be. We count ourselves fortunate for having Simon be an important part of our Vikes program. Indeed, he was a remarkable individual who we will miss dearly.”
Originally Ibell came to UVic to pursue a finance degree but his passion for sport later led him to switch to the School of Exercise, Science, Physical and Health Education where he earned a Bachelor in Leisure Studies Administration. After graduating in 2002 from the Faculty of Education, Ibell put his passion to work including becoming a team manager for the Canada national team, biking the length of Vancouver Island with NBA icon and fellow SMUS grad Steve Nash raising $250, 000 for Bike 4 MPS, founding the Be Fair 2 Rare outreach program, founding the iBellieve Foundation, which advocates for Canadians with diseases.
In 2012, Ibell was honoured as a UVic Distinguished Alumni Recipient, awarded to alumni by the Faculty of Education based on their career accomplishments and service to their community. Throughout 2013-14 Ibell was an advocate for in the university’s pursuit to building the Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities, which opened in May 2015.
So many in the Canadian sport world have been touched in some way by Ibell’s inspiring story and pursuits. Vikes Athletics and Recreation extend their deepest condolences and thoughts to the Ibell family at this time and are extremely grateful for the Simon’s commitment to the Vikes, as well as the many foundations he has laid to inspire others to see challenge has opportunity.