SportWORKS - Making a Difference & Becoming Different

The Sport Leaders Abroad Program
sends qualified and experienced Canadian
sport leaders (administrators, coaches, officials, etc.) to assist their counterparts in their fields/sports of expertise in countries around
the world.

Meg Fracke

Leader Bio: Meg has loved the water ever since she and her parents can remember.  Acting on a whim, Meg’s parents signed her up for competitive swimming at the age of eight. By the age of 16, Meg had already travelled across Canada and into the United States with her teammates from the Uxbridge Swim Club.  It is with the Uxbridge Swim Club that Meg also began coaching.  She enjoyed coaching their developmental level swimmers for five years while in high school.  Her coaching did not stop with the Swim Club.  She also coached her high school’s swim team while juggling her own swimming schedule and studies.  Meg also swam for, and captained, the University of Ottawa's swim teach while gaining her Master's in Education.

Placement Date: April 20-30, 2013

Placement Details: Meg travelled to Falkland Islands to work with the Stanley Swimming Club to help educate their coaches and teach the swimmers proper techniques. Stanley Swimming Club was faced with two major challenges. Firstly, all of their coaches were parent-volunteers with little to no swimming background; they were learning as much as they could from the internet but were lacking the experience to SHOW the swimmers what they would like to see in the water. Secondly, they were the only swim club on the Falkland Islands so they were constantly training and competing against one another which became quite boring for the swimmers. Meg's responsibilities were to work in conjunction with the coaches in Stanley to help educate them on new swimming skills and drills. She also spent a large portion of time working one-on-one with swimmers both in the water and on dry land correcting their swimming techniques.

Stanley Swimming Club, Falkland Islands
Uxbridge, Ontario
University of Ottawa, Masters in Education
During my placement I found myself in the water quite often demonstrating to the swimmers, coaches and lifeguards. On Thursday I was informed that I would be competing in the swim meet on Friday! It was fun to get back in the water and race! The swimmers did amazing and I really enjoyed watching them. It was rewarding to have a few of the swimmers come up to me after a race and tell me that they had applied what I had taught them to their races. I left Saturday with a heavy heart, not knowing if I would ever have the opportunity to travel back to such an amazing part of the world. The people of the Falkland Islands are some of the kindest I have met and made me feel a part of their community the moment I stepped off the plane.