Abigail Meder is a rare and sought after gem of a young athlete. She is strong, grounded, balanced and a positive change maker right where she is in her life and in her swimming journey. She has a wonderful attitude that says – ‘I will not be out worked’. Abi is not only a champion swimmer but one who impacts her world positively by her leadership, her dignity and her deep faith in God. She is also proudly big sis to another brilliant swimmer Rebecca Meder.
When asked who she is she said “I am a hard worker. I am disciplined, self-motivated and I don’t give up. My aunt calls me her Princess Warrior because I am determined to overcome all obstacles thrown my way. I am Christian and a daughter of the living God. I believe that I am a leader and I lead quietly by example”.
After reading Abi’s interview I say once again: the wisdom of our young athletes amazes me all the time. This on its own gives me hope for our Nation’s future.
Photo Credits: Neville Bailey
Athlete: Bio / Stats
|Name & Surname||Abigail Meder|
|Date of birth||11 October 2000|
|Place of birth||Cape Town|
|Current City||Cape Town|
|Coach’s Name||Bianca Marais|
|Out of Country events||I am still praying that I will one day be chosen to represent SA|
|Secondary Sport/ sports||I used to play hockey|
|Favorite City||Cape Town|
|Favorite Song/ type of music||I have many, they are mostly Christian songs|
|Favorite Movie||I love Romantic comedies
I love the Christian movie, Facing the Giants
|School & Grade||Edgemead High School, Gr 10|
|Twitter and Instagram||Instagram/twitter: @abigailmeder|
|Community / church projects involved in||I attend Edge Church in Edgemead|
|Parents Names, siblings||Mom: Josette Meder
Dad: Justin Meder
Sister: Rebecca Meder
Q: You are passionate and doing so well in your Swimming tell me a little bit about how you started in Swimming and your journey in the Swimming arena up to now?
I have always loved the water. I feel the most alive while I am swimming. I started swimming for my primary school’s swimming team in Gr 1 and loved it. Halfway through Gr 4 I asked my parents if I could start swimming training privately. I never dreamt that I would be where I am today. I started training with Bianca Marais when I was 9. I have trained, worked very hard and sacrificed a lot to get to where I am today.
Q: Who are you? Describe yourself as a person.
I am a hard worker. I am disciplined, self-motivated and I don’t give up. My aunt calls me her Princess Warrior because I am determined to overcome all obstacles thrown my way. I am Christian and a daughter of the living God. I believe that I am a leader and I lead quietly by example.
Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in Swimming and what is your greatest personal accomplishment?
Last year I won gold for girls u/14 200back at Level 3. I also qualified for Senior Nationals and made the final for the Women’s 200back.
This year I won 2 silver medals at Level 3. I once again qualified for Senior Nationals and made finals for all my events. My highlight was winning gold at Seniors for the 4 x 200fr Women’s relay. Having Becky, my sister, on my team made it even more special.
Q: You did brilliantly at this year’s Olympic Trials / SA Nationals, How did you experience it? Lesson learned?
The atmosphere at Senior Nationals this year was amazing because it is an Olympic year. It was very exciting to witness the swimmers qualify for Rio. I felt confident going into Seniors as I competed in all the Grand Prix Series this year. I was very happy with my results.
Q: Why do you have so much love and respect for your coach?
I love Bianca Marais. She is an awesome coach who sacrifices so much for her swimmers. She is not only an amazing coach but an amazing person too. She leads by example and is a wonderful role model. She encourages us and motivates us. She teaches us life skills and not only swimming skills. She is always willing to listen and I know that she is always there for me.
Q: In your opinion, what is the value of Education in a young person’s life?
Education is vitally important. We can’t swim forever and we need to be able to support ourselves one day. Ironically I find that my swimming helps me with my school work. Swimming has taught me to manage my time properly and prioritize. My mom is a teacher and she always tells me that it is not one’s aptitude that counts but one’s attitude.
Q: Would you like to share a little bit more about your faith journey and how it has affected your life / sports?
I have been privileged enough to grow up in a Christian home. I gave my life to the Lord when I was 5 years old. I always pray and listen to Christian music before I race. This helps me to be calm and to focus. My heart’s desire is that people will see God’s light shining through me. There have been many races where I really felt God’s presence.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I catch up on my sleep and when I am able to I watch tv. In the summer holidays I love to go camping with my family. My favourite place in the world is the beach.
Q: One thing about you that the world does not know J
I love music BUT ironically I am tone deaf. I really cannot hold a note.
Q: What is your personal favourite motivational quote?
“ I breathe in my courage, and exhale my fear.”
Q: What is your favourite Bible / Scripture quote?
“For those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not grow faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
Q: In your opinion, how do you define success in life / how do you define a successful person?
I don’t think success is defined by money or material objects. I think that one’s success is determined by their perseverance and determination. I also believe that if you can look back on your life and you have been surrounded by family and friends who love you, then you have had a successful life.
Q: What’s your WHY ? Why do you do what you do?
I believe that God has given me a talent and I would like to use what God has given me in my hands to reach others. We need to face our fears head on. When we fall, we need to get up, dust ourselves off and keep going. It is important to form your identity and self-worth in Christ and not in earthly things, sport, school, etc.
Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!
NB – All images were supplied by the athlete to Heslop Sports. If there are any images that are not credited correctly, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details and we will gladly do so immediately.