For decades, sports fans in Regina have flipped through the pages of the Regina Leader-Post to read the words of one of the most revered and well-known sports writers in the province.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Regina Pats, other local sports clubs and events — he’s covered it all.
Now, he’s taking on a new challenge. Rob Vanstone, the former Leader-Post columnist, is a few weeks into his new role with the Roughriders.
His excitement and eagerness for the job would have you think it’s only his first day.
“It really is an amazing feeling. I’m still kind of processing it in a way,” said Vanstone before the interview. “I keep waiting for a security person with a walkie-talkie to say, ‘Time’s up’ and escort me out of here. I feel like I’m an interloper because it is so new.”
Sometimes it can be difficult to switch out of a routine. Vanstone wrote for the Leader-Post for 37 years (if you include his summer jobs, he said) and he held multiple positions at the paper, including sports editor and sports columnist.
However, 2023 has already become a monumental year for the legendary writer after he announced his departure from the local newspaper to join the Roughriders — an organization he has written about on countless occasions — and become the CFL club’s senior journalist and historian.
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“I followed the Roughriders via the Leader-Post so much and I still have scrapbooks at home dating back to the mid-1970s, starting with the Riders’ victory over Edmonton in October of 1975, which was the game that really lit the fuse as far as me being addicted to this,” Vanstone said.
And a big part of Vanstone’s early memories as a young Roughrider fan is the time he spent with his mother watching the Green and White. He said it was something he thought about when he took on the new challenge.
“So many people have said this to me and it really hits home, ‘What would your mom say? How proud would your mom be?’ Mom was the greatest Roughrider fan, and she and I went to five Grey Cups together in a span of six years dating back to 1976.”
You can view the full conversation with Rob Vanstone in our latest Shaping Saskatchewan feature.