USask, U of R kick off province’s largest varsity sports competition

SASKATOON – The University of Saskatchewan (USask) and the University of Regina (U of R) will go head-to-head in multiple sports in a season-long competition to determine the winner of the inaugural U-Prairie Challenge.

An annual points-based competition between the USask Huskies and the U of R Cougars/Rams involving 11 women’s and men’s sports, the U-Prairie Challenge will generate pride in our communities and province. Becoming an ongoing celebration of university sports in Saskatchewan, the U-Prairie Challenge reflects a shared vision between the two universities to generate greater support for our student athletes and varsity sports overall.

Jeff Keshen, president and vice-chancellor of the U of R, said varsity sports are a great source of pride for both campus communities.

“Our student-athletes are deeply engaged with their universities – training and competing at the highest level – while pursuing their studies with the same dedication and focus,” said Keshen. “As ambassadors for our universities and role models for youth in the province, they deserve more of our attention and support, whether that be in the form of donations from individuals or organizations, coverage by local media, or fans in the stands.”

“Their performances provide entertainment and inspiration for their schools and wider communities, and cultivate a sense of pride that extends far beyond our campuses.” 

“This Challenge will offer new opportunities to connect, compete, and celebrate, building pride in our programs and opening the door to new fans and new supporters, as we highlight and spotlight one of the best rivalries in the country,” said USask President Peter Stoicheff. “Like the Cougars and Rams, our Huskie student-athletes are outstanding players and also wonderful ambassadors for our university every time they put on a jersey. We are extremely proud of their efforts, on the field and the track, in the gymnasium and the arena, and in our classrooms, labs and research facilities.”

The 2022-2023 U-Prairie Challenge begins with a women’s soccer match in Saskatoon on Sept. 2.

The official kickoff event takes place on Saturday, Sept.17 at 7 pm, when the Rams host the Huskies at Mosaic Stadium in Regina as part of the recently announced Football Weekend in Saskatchewan. In partnership with the Regina Exhibition Association Ltd. (REAL), Saturday will feature a pre-game concert and tailgate party outside of the stadium along with other activities to enhance the fan experience. REAL will announce concert details at a later date.

Football fans have the opportunity to take in multiple games that weekend at a discounted price. On Friday, Sept. 16 the Saskatchewan Roughriders face off against the Edmonton Elks. Games continue through Saturday when the Saskatoon Hilltops visit the Regina Thunder in the afternoon and the Huskies play the Rams Saturday evening. Bundled tickets are available now.

The U-Prairie Challenge season series will culminate in Saskatoon where a winner will be crowned after the Huskies host the Cougars in men’s hockey at Merlis Belsher Place in early 2023. The U-Prairie Challenge kickoff and final events will alternate locations between Regina and Saskatoon on an annual basis.

More information is available at and where fans can also purchase tickets to all U-Prairie Challenge events, follow their favourite teams, and support our student-athletes.


For media inquiries, contact:

Roberta Bell                                                                          
University Advancement & Communications
University of Regina

Victoria Dinh
USask Media Relations 

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