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Memorable Manitobans: Joyce Bender Fromson (1939-2001)


Born at Winnipeg on 16 March 1939, she graduated from the Manitoba Teachers College (1958) then took her first job at St. Joseph’s Collegiate teaching physical education and health. In 1960 she began a five-year affiliation with Transcona Collegiate where she taught physical education and art as well as coaching volleyball, basketball and track. In 1964 & 1965 she attended the International Track & Field Camp at Guelph, Ontario. From 1966-1970 she was the Director of Women’s Athletics at the University of Winnipeg. In 1972 she became the first woman in North America to be hired as a Sports Information Director of Men’s and Women’s Sport at the University of Calgary. While there she founded and directed sports camps for children. She returned to Manitoba in 1978 becoming the first Executive Director of Volleyball Manitoba.

In 1979 she began working at the University of Manitoba as the Director of Men’s and Women’s Sport. Following her success with children’s sports camps at Calgary she initiated camps and Mini University at the University of Manitoba. At a time of falling enrollment and financial cuts these programs were extremely popular. She received many awards including the Canadian 125th Anniversary Governor General’s Award for Contribution to Canada for her efforts in sport. She was appointed to the National Advisory Committee for Sports and Fitness in 1984. That same year she was named the YMCA “ Woman of the Year.” In 1986 she won the YMHA Award for significant contribution to sport. In 1987 she became the first recipient of the Dave Anderson Award in recognition for Outstanding Service to the University of Winnipeg during her tenure there.

She died on 10 April 2001. In 2002 the University of Manitoba swimming pool in the Frank Kennedy Centre was named the Joyce Fromson Pool.

A collection of her papers is held at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections.


This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 7 December 2011

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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