The South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to the preservation, documentation and display of South Dakota's sports history.

Blanche Barnum - Inducted 2019

Blanche Barnum graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1926 and the University of California in 1933. She taught physical education at the grade school and high school levels for 30 years at Winner, Tabor, Platte, and Mitchell.

Barnum was a pioneer of athletic competition for girls. She started and coached a girls’ high school basketball team at Winner in 1946-47, almost 30 years before South Dakota started girls’ high school basketball and girls’ state basketball tournaments. While in Mitchell, Barnum started intramural programs and traveling teams for girls in the 1950’s and early 1960’s and was a strong advocate for the formation of organized programs for female athletics.

South Dakota Sports Hall of Famer and longtime referee, Harve Johnston of Mitchell, said: “You couldn’t find a person who was better for girls’ sports than Blanche. Everyone who knew her had the ultimate respect for Blanche and what she meant to girl’s athletics through her many years of physical education teaching in our schools.’’

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