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James Kirkpatrick

Year Inducted1994 HometownSaskatoon, Saskatchewan

Major Accomplishments

Member of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.
Served as a tennis official for nearly three decades.
An original appointee to the University of Saskatchewan’s Sports Wall of Fame.
Prepared a detailed history of tennis in Saskatoon.


James Kirkpatrick was a well-rounded athlete as he competed for the University of Saskatchewan in track and field, basketball and tennis. He started playing tennis at the age of six, but was a late bloomer in the sport.

Kirkpatrick won several singles titles, including the provincial men’s singles crown in 1937. That same year, he won several other city doubles and mixed doubles championships. From 1956-1968, he was the province’s men’s over 45 to 55 years singles senior champion and teamed with John Leicester in 1981 to become the over 55 provincial doubles champions.

He was highly involved in the development of tennis in Canada and he served as vice-president and first executive director for the Saskatchewan Tennis Association. Kirkpatrick attended the University of Saskatchewan where he received his Bachelor of Arts in 1924 and his bachelor of Education in 1930. He taught for several years before moving to Regina with his wife, Mary, as he took the position of Director of the Division of Physical Fitness and Recreation with the Government of Saskatchewan. In 1948 Kirkpatrick accepted a job with McGill University as Director of the School of Physical Education.

Kirkpatrick retired from Dean of the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan in 1976, after he had served 20 years in the position. He continued working with the field program at the college and also got involved with the Saskatchewan Tennis Association.

During his term with the Saskatchewan Tennis Association, Kirkpatrick promoted and developed community tennis. In 1980 there were only 12 community tennis clubs in Saskatchewan. When Kirkpatrick left his position as executive director there were 52 clubs.

Kirkpatrick also served as a tennis official for more than three decades in various roles including chair umpire, line judge and chief referee. He had also been tournament director and manager of several local and provincial tournaments and would help organize events at tennis clubs.

In 1983, as part of Saskatoon’s centennial celebration, he prepared a detailed history of tennis in Saskatoon and district entitled “An Account of Tennis Facilities, Tennis Organization, Tennis Instruction and Tennis Personalities during the First 100 Years of Saskatoon’s History”.

Kirkpatrick played competitive tennis up until he was 80-years-old. He continued playing with his friends, children and grandchildren regularly at the field house, even during the winter months. He is a life member of the Riverside Badminton and Tennis Clun in Saskatoon, and also is a member of the Saskatoon Nutana Community Club.

On April 3, 1989 the Kirkpatrick family received the Saskatchewan Tennis Association Honour Award and on August 14, 1989 he delivered the honorary first serve at the opening ceremonies of the Tennis Venue at the Jeux Canada Games in Saskatoon.

Kirkpatrick was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on June 15, 1991.