Vicki Hall is, simply put, legendary.
Hall is currently a journalism instructor at SAIT, where she is inspiring a new generation of writers and photographers. But before this, she spent 20 years as a sports reporter, working for more than a dozen publications, such as the Globe and Mail, CBC, and the Edmonton Sun.
Her body of sports journalism led her to be the first woman inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
“I never saw myself as a pioneer,” Hall said. “There were a lot of very strong women who came before me. I might be the first woman inducted. But I don’t think I’m going to be alone in that for very long.”
Hall mentions several women who inspired her, from Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal and Christie Blatchford, who worked for the National Post and the Toronto Sun.
“To me, there are many strong women who came before me,” she said.
The news business has seen significant change since Hall initially joined in 2001.
“It’s gone from people waking up in the morning, and the first thing they do is look at their newspaper to read what happened in sports or what’s going to happen that night in sports,” she said. “Now people are checking their phones and it comes instantly on social media.”
The recent passing of Bill C-18 has led to Meta removing news content from Facebook and Instagram’s Canadian sites. The impact of this on Canadians is vast.
“Canadian media outlets are struggling,” said Hall. “I used to travel with the teams I covered all the time. I travelled all over Canada with the CFL. It’s been a hard time.
“But I think it also opens opportunities for new kinds of things. Now we can have all kinds of bloggers or people who are passionate about things who can make their name for themselves. To me, it’s discouraging in some ways, but I also see a whole bright future beyond it.”
A bright future is what Hall strives for. With her job at SAIT, she’s teaching the next generation of journalists with pride and passion.
“In some ways, it feels like I’m a coach,” said Hall. “I understand a lot of the coaches who I used to cover now better. I always gravitated toward them to hear their experiences. But now I think I can see more why it’s such a rewarding job. I’m in a new season of my life, but I love it here at SAIT.”
Her passion, ultimately is what she’s best recognized for.
“She’s a powerhouse,” said Beverly Wake, a former colleague and editor of Hall at Postmedia. “Her passion is something else. It’s why she was nominated for a National Newspaper Award for sports writing.”
Hall’s series of articles about youth athletes and concussion protocol won a National Newspaper Award for sports writing in 2015.
The series, titled Head Shots and written in collaboration with John Kryk, was initially written after the death of Rowen Stringer, 17. The rugby player died after her concussion led to second-impact syndrome. Stringer’s death could have been avoided if youth athletics had stronger laws around concussions and head injuries.
Head Shots educated Canadians about the dangers of concussions for athletes. It has helped athletes and their families have a better understanding of what happens when a person is concussed and the proper way of dealing with it.
This is just one example of the impact Hall has had on Canadians. Her career spans two decades, and her passion has never waned.
On top of being an acclaimed journalist, she is also a mother to a son, AJ, who is on the autism spectrum. Hall is a proud advocate for children with special needs and has spoken about her son’s involvement with Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS).
It’s clear looking at her accomplishments that Hall’s career is one for the history books. Her induction is just one example of this.