Passings: Natasa Bajin

A field of flowers at sunset

Natasa Bajin, a retired School of Kinesiology & Health Science faculty member and York University gymnastics coach, passed away on May 13.

Natasa Bajin

A Serbian-Yugoslavian gymnast, Bajin came to York in the early 1970s as one of the world’s best in her field, with an illustrious career that included 13 first-place finishes as the national senior champion of the country formerly known as Yugoslavia, and 14 championships in the province of Serbia. Between 1965 and 1974, she also she competed in two Olympic Games, three world championships and four European championships.

At York, Bajin began serving as the head women’s gymnastics coach in 1974 and remained in the role for nearly 20 years. During her tenure, the team she coached enjoyed great success, earning 12 Ontario Women’s Interuniversity Athletic Association gold medals and four Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union national champions. In recognition of her accomplishment, she would go on to be inducted into York University’s Sport Hall of Fame in 2001. She was also a tenured faculty member who taught fitness and gymnastics in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science.

Bajin’s influence spread beyond York as well, as she was involved in Gymnastics Ontario as a judge at the highest level of qualification, and she spent many days visiting schools to assist teachers in running after-school gymnastics programs. 

Over the course of her 50-year career, she trained thousands of students, many of whom have gone on to teach gymnastics themselves in schools across Ontario – in the process, ensuring Bajin’s influence will continue to resonate in a field she so excelled in.