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10/29/2012 11:11:00 AM
A matter of serving: man honored for work in public tennis
Catholic Sentinel photo by Ed Langlois
Jim Flynn of All Saints Parish was recognized for contributions to public tennis.
Catholic Sentinel photo by Ed Langlois
Jim Flynn of All Saints Parish was recognized for contributions to public tennis.

Jim Flynn was one fine tennis player, winning the 1949 state doubles title for Central Catholic High School with partner Mike Walsh and the 1950 singles title. At the University of Portland, he amassed a 67-3 record in singles and a 68-2 record in doubles. He's a member of UP's athletic hall of fame and has been a member of the Irvington Tennis Club since the mid-1940s.

But Flynn this fall was inducted into the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. Tennis Association's hall of fame because of 60 years of promoting and leading public tennis — bringing the sport to the Masses.

Flynn, a member of All Saints Parish and a longtime insurance agent, spent decades bringing tennis to youths in the parks, offering loaner rackets and tips. In 1970, he became the Portland Tennis Center Association's executive secretary and several years later he an colleagues established the first public indoor tennis facility on the west coast.

In 1981, Flynn left the insurance business to devote more time to tennis and became the first tennis director for the Portland Bureau of Parks. He worked hard to bring the sport to people who could not afford to join a private club. He also was an advocate of junior tennis, serving 26 years as state tournament director for Oregon high school boys. He brought USTA schools to Portland in the 1980s.

Flynn says tennis teaches courtesy, sportsmanship and friendship. It also keeps people healthy, he says.

Flynn has had to give up tennis, but continues golfing, a more sedate sport he took up in his 60s. He made his first hole-in-one in October. 



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