A member of the Regina YMCA Wrestling Club and the Olympic Boxing and Wrestling Club, Vern Pettigrew wrestled his way to five Canadian Amateur Wrestling Championships in 1933, 1935, 1937, 1939 and 1940. Vernon was a member of the Canadian team at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, and placed 4th.
While still actively competing, Vernon coached at the Regina YMCA from 1933 to 1940. Vern Pettigrew’s coaching and promotion of amateur wrestling in the province continued during the 1940’s and 1950’s, and is considered a prime factor in the development of wrestling in the province.
Pettigrew was inducted into the Canadian Amateur Athletic Hall of Fame in 1973.