Meet Joy Knudson
It’s more than just a little bit challenging to describe the achievements and accomplishments of Joy Knudson. Do you focus on her successes in the sports of badminton and tennis? You could, because there are many feats in both of those sports. Do you focus on her excellence as a golfer? Well, you could focus on that too, because she is an award winning golfer. Or do you mention that she is a member of the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, because she is indeed a Hall-of-Famer, with an award as Athlete/All Around (inducted in 2001). A person writing about Joy could include and describe all of her sports achievements noted above, add in basketball, volleyball, speed skating, tennis and sprinting in her Kelvin High School years…and also mention that she is a thoughtful, kind and considerate individual as well!
Joy concentrated on badminton and tennis in the early years and, in 1958, was Provincial Singles champion in both sports. There are so many championships to mention! In badminton, she was Western Canadian Singles badminton champion, a silver medalist at the Canadian championships, she played for Canada against New Zealand and was a semi-finalist in the US Open. She won national bronze medals in Singles and Doubles two years later and in 1993 was the Ladies Singles 50+ champion. Also, Joy was the Manitoba Singles badminton champ nine times, Ladies’ Doubles winner six times and a Mixed Doubles winner four times, as well as winning the Quebec Singles and Doubles titles in 1963.
In tennis, Joy won five consecutive Manitoba Junior Girls’ Singles tennis titles and was ranked 8th in Canada. For three years in a row (1956, ‘57 and ‘58), she was the Manitoba Ladies’ Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles Champion.
Then…..with all of those triumphs behind her, Joy took up golf (at age 45). And an absolute deluge of awards followed in this sport! She was a member of the Manitoba Senior Ladies golf team in 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1995 and 1999. She was the Manitoba Senior Ladies Golf Champion and Canadian Champion in 1989 at the Canadian National Clubs Team Championship.
In 1989, the team of Joy Knudson, Anne Leibl and Mavis Bollman (two other Wildewood members) won first place in the Canadian National Clubs Team Championship played in Montebello, Quebec and, in 1995, Joy added a bronze medal in the same event, played in Calgary, Alberta, with Wildewood members Thelma Mathieson and Madeline Haskett. These National events are, as the name implies, nation-wide, with provincial champions representing every province. To win there is a huge accomplishment.
When asked about which sport she liked best, Joy’s diplomatic reply was that she liked the sport she was currently playing the best! Her advice to young athletes is to play all the sports and “put your heart into it”. It’s clear that Joy has done that…and what an example she sets for athletes both young and old! Joy has indicated that she has had highlights with all of the sports, but one of the biggest was with badminton, representing Canada in the Uber Cup. (The Uber Cup was the precursor to the Olympics; badminton is now an Olympic sport.)
At Wildewood we consider having Joy a member as one of our highlights! Her connection to Wildewood is strong….she played badminton, tennis, curling and golf here and she has been the Ladies Golf Club Champion FIFTEEN times! We are so proud to have her here and it has been a pleasure and an honour to write up this biography for her.