Saskatoon loses another sporting great as Pat Lawson dies at age 89

"I'm not sure there was a more impactful person on the Saskatchewan sports scene."

Dr. Patricia Lawson has died at age 89. (UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN FILE PHOTO) Saskatoon

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Pat Lawson — one of Saskatoon’s all-time sporting greats — has died at age 89.

Lawson, who would have turned 90 in November, excelled in numerous sports, including basketball, golf, tennis, swimming, speedskating and track and field.

She was truly an athlete for all seasons.

Indeed, Lawson was one of Canada’s most distinguished female athletes during the 1950s with an athletic legacy that is truly unmatched. As a student-athlete at the University of Saskatchewan, she represented the university on 13 teams over four years, including basketball, swimming, tennis, and track and field.

Lawson was a member of the Canadian women’s basketball team at the 1959 Pan American Games, a seven-time member of the Saskatchewan amateur women’s provincial golf team and claimed Canadian titles in basketball, speedskating and golf.

At the age of 18, she was the city’s most valuable player while a rookie member of the U of S Huskiettes basketball team.

“I’m not sure there was a more impactful person on the Saskatchewan sports scene,” stated Lisa Thomaidis, head coach of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s basketball team and Canada’s national women’s basketball team, which recently competed at the AmeriCup tournament.

“Not to mention what she did to advance opportunities for women in sport and sports administration.”

Born in Saskatoon on Nov. 18, 1929, Lawson made her first foray into competitive sports while swimming in an under-10 race as a youth. That was just the start.

In 1955, she helped the Vancouver Eilers win the Canadian basketball title. In 1959, she was back in Saskatoon aiding the Adilman Aces to another Canadian women’s basketball championship.

In golf, Lawson represented Saskatchewan in 19 Canadian championships.

She competed nationally as a member of Saskatchewan’s provincial golf team seven times in amateur women’s and 12 times in the senior women’s. She was a Saskatchewan senior team member from 1980 to 1986, and in 1984 she was ranked sixth in Canada.

She was provincial senior champion five times, and runner‐up four times between 1980 and 1994. She won the Canadian senior team championship with Barbara Danaher, Joanne Goulet and Vivian Holizki in 1985 in Montreal. It was a first for Saskatchewan. She was a Saskatchewan senior team member from 1980 to 1986.

In 1975, Lawson became the first woman ever elected to the Riverside Country Club’s board of directors. She chaired the Riverside Ladies Classic tournament from 1988 to 1990. She won the Riverside club championship and senior club championship several times each. Notably, Lawson also won the Waskesiu Ladies’ Lobstick five times over four decades from 1968 to 1991.

The Saskatchewan Golf Hall of Fame inductee had at least seven holes-in-one during her golf career.

She served as a Golf Saskatchewan course‐rater for 15 years, a golf instructor in many towns in Saskatchewan, and a junior golf supporter. She was always a positive role model for women golfers in the province.

Dr. Lawson spent much of her later years in coaching and administration. She served one term as president of the National Advisory for Fitness and Amateur Sport.

She is a member of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame and named to the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1985. She is a member of the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame for golf, basketball, and with the Adilman Aces basketball team.

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame inducted her as a multi‐sport athlete to recognize her provincial championships in six different sports: swimming, track and field, tennis, basketball, speedskating and golf.

The University of Saskatchewan honoured her twice as a member of the Athletic Wall of Fame. She was also recognized by the College of Kinesiology as one of the “First and Best” in 1996.

Lawson received an University of Saskatchewan alumni achievement award last year.