On Oct. 13, 1928, CKUA Radio
became only the second broadcaster in Canada to carry play-by-play
coverage of a football game. The Edmonton Eskimos beat the University of
Alberta Golden Bears 18-6, and a brother from St. Joseph's College
provided the commentary by telephone to CKUA.
CKUA's sports coverage, now a missing link in its broadcast day, would
prove popular in the early days of Edmonton radio. The sporting brothers
of St. Joe's and St. Stephen's Colleges would be the city's early
play-by-play men and colour commentators from a small broadcast hut for
the inter-varsity football games. CKUA also had lines to the U of A gym
for basketball and ice rink.
By 1947, the station had gone beyond its sporting men of the cloth, and
hired Art Ward from CFRN as its first sports director, a position he would
retain until 1960. He called hockey games featuring the Edmonton Flyers,
and baseball games from Renfrew Park. A photograph from 1945 shows Ward
interviewing heavyweight champion Joe Louis at Renfrew Park.
Coverage of women's sports was carried in the late '40s, allowing CKUA to
take the lead in an area that was seldom addressed in the radio coverage
of the time. Shirley Stinson became the station's first female sports
announcer, covering women's sports at the U of A while studying nursing
As for the station that beat out CKUA on football coverage? Radio Queen's
University Radio - whose call letters were CFRC, an acronym for Canada's
Famous Rugby Champions - made its broadcasting debut on Oct. 27, 1923 with
the play-by-play of a Queen's-McGill football game, five years before