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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

BOBBY KERR

Inducted in 1955

Member Details

Date of Birth: June 9, 1882
Place of Birth: Enniskillen, Ireland
Date of Passing: May 12, 1963
Sport: Track Events
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1902

100yd, 440yd, 880yd titles, Hamilton Coronation Games

1907

Canadian title in 100yd and 220yd races

Canadian record of 9.4 seconds in 100yd race

1908

100yd, 220 yd titles, British Stamford Bridge meet

Harvey Gold Cup as meet's most outstanding athlete

London Olympic Games - Gold medal in 200m race and Bronze medal in 100m race

1909

Successfully defended 100yd and 220yd titles in Ireland

Declared Irish Champion

Honoured Member BOBBY KERR
Inspire

Story

Bobby Kerr was one of the top sprinters in the world at the dawn of the 20th century. Over the course of his brilliant ten-year career, Kerr won nearly 400 awards and set six Canadian records. Kerr first flashed into prominence in the King Edward Coronation Games at Hamilton in 1902 when he swept the 100yd, 440yd, and 880yd races. In 1907, the blond, Irish-Canadian won more than 40 sprint races, claimed the national title in the 100yd and 220yd events, and set a new Canadian record of 9.4 seconds in the 100yd event. His crowning achievements came at the 1908 Olympic Games in London, where he claimed a gold medal in the 200m and a bronze medal in the 100m race. While in Europe, Kerr also competed in the British Stamford Bridge meet. Not only did he claim the 100yd and 220yd titles, but he was awarded the Harvey Gold Cup as the meet's outstanding athlete. The following year, Kerr ventured overseas once more, this time to his native Ireland, to defend his titles. He did so with such great success that he was declared Irish champion. Kerr was once again selected for the Canadian Olympic team in 1912, but he declined because he believed that he was past his prime and ready for retirement. He did, however, return to the Olympics in 1928 as Canadian team captain, and in 1932 as manager of the track and field team. Kerr remained prominent in the Hamilton athletic community the rest of his life. He served as an official with various local and national sport organizations, including the Hamilton Olympic Club, the Highlanders' Athletic Association, the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada, and the Canadian Olympic Association. Kerr was also a driving force behind the first British Empire Games in Hamilton in 1930.


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