Today another Warrior Princess takes centre stage with us – champion swimmer Rebecca Meder.
An ordinary girl with an extra ordinary vision, for not only herself but also her community and her nation. There are such strong threads of hope mixed with deep seated gratefulness and the desire to serve our awesome King Jesus that runs through her interview.
She receives brilliant coaching from Bianca Marais and speaks proudly about big sister and one of her role models – Abigail Meder. Thank you Rebecca for your courage, your example of excellence and your influence even at age 14.
She says “I am a self-motivated and determined person. I will always try my best and give 100%. I am a positive person and I believe strongly in working together as a team. I love sharing God’s word and I want to use the talent that He has given me. I want to shine for God and make Him proud.”
Below is also Rebecca’s Special account of how she experienced her first Senior Team SA at CANA 2016.
Athlete: Bio / Stats
|Name & Surname||Rebecca Meder|
|Nick Name||Becky or Becky-Boo|
|Date of birth||31 July 2002|
|Place of birth||Cape Town|
|Current City||Cape Town|
|Coach’s Name||Bianca Marais|
|Out of Country events||Egypt – Junior All Africa Champs|
|Secondary Sport/ sports||I play the violin|
|Favorite City||Cape Town|
|Favorite Song/ type of music||Christian music|
|Favorite Movie||Action / Romantic comedies
I love the movie Facing the Giants (it’s a Christian movie)
|School & Grade||Edgemead High School, Gr 8|
Q: At what age did you start swimming and why?
I started swimming when I was in Gr 3. I was almost 9 years old. My sister, Abigail, was already swimming with Bianca and I used to watch her train. I asked my mom if I could also please swim as it looked like so much fun. My mom thought it was funny that I wanted to do swimming training because I refused to put my face in the water until I was 5,5 years old.
Q: You attended your first International event – Junior Africa Swimming Champs – Egypt last year, proudly part of Team SA – Congrats! How did you experience that?
It is my dream to swim for my country and so I was so excited to have been chosen to represent SA at the Junior Africa Champs. I was blessed because my coach was part of the SA squad. I also had the opportunity to spend time with my SA competitors and I got to know them better. I really enjoyed being part of a relay team with these girls. I was very happy with my races and one of the highlights was standing on the podium singing our national anthem as they raised our flag. This is something I will always remember and treasure. I felt God’s presence for the whole tour which made it even more special.
Q: Tell me a little bit about your home and school life?
I attend our local community high school, Edgemead High School. I am in Gr 8 and I swim for my school’s swimming team. I enjoy school and I work very hard at my academics and so I reap the rewards.
I have a wonderful, supportive family and we are very close. I am so grateful to my dad and mom who sacrifice so much of their time and money so that Abi and I can excel in life. My parents and extended family encourage us to try our best and to just enjoy what we are doing. I am blessed because I get to do this with my sister. She is always right there with me in training and on tours which makes this all even more special.
Q: Why is it important to try and excel at academics at school?
I believe it says a lot about your character. You need to strive and excel in everything that you do. Having a good work ethic tells people a lot about one’s attitude to life. You don’t have to be the best, you just have to strive to be your best.
Q: What is your favorite food? And who must cook it 🙂 ?
I love my mom’s spaghetti – no one else can make it the same.
Q: Who is your sports hero? What have you learned from him / her?
I love Karin Prinsloo and Missy Franklin. They are both strong, Christian women and they both swim for His glory. My sister, Abi, is also one of my role models.
Q: What is your personal favourite motivational quote?
“Be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.”
Q: What is your favourite Bible Verse?
Joshua 1:9 – “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Q: At this point and time – what are you most grateful for in your life?
I am grateful for my family who love me unconditionally and who will sacrifice everything for me. I am grateful that I am raised in a loving and supportive home. I am grateful to have the best coach, Bianca Marais, in the world. She understands me so well and always has my best interests at heart. She sacrifices so much of her own time for us. She leads by example and is always there for us. God has definitely blessed me by putting her in my life. I am grateful to be part of an amazing team. I am grateful to God every day for His grace and love and that He has promised me that I never have to do anything in my own strength.
Q: What would your message of encouragement to South African and other youth and our nation?
We need to stay strong, believe in ourselves and not live in fear. We have an awesome country filled with awesome people. We need to learn to forgive, support, encourage and respect one another. We need to believe and have hope.
Q: Anything else you would like to share?
I was doing my Bible Study the other day and I read something that really impressed upon my heart. We need to learn to dream BIG and it has to be a God vision! Your God vision/dream mustn’t be too small. If your dream doesn’t scare you, then it is not big enough. We need to have faith and trust God. Your dream cannot be too narrow. It must include others as you cannot achieve your God vision by yourself.
|Meet / Championships Report Back|
|Name & Surname||Rebecca Meder|
|Name of Meet||12th CANA All Africa Champs|
|Date of Meet||16th October – 22 October|
|City and Country||Bloemfontein, South Africa|
|Names of various Events participated in at meet?||400IM
Women 4 x 200fr relay
Women 4 x 100fr relay
|(Names of medals/ awards received for which events?)||Gold: women 400IM and 200IM
Women 4 x 200fr relay
Silver: women 200fr
|Highlights of the event?||The whole event was a highlight for me because it was my first senior selection.|
|Lessons learned from the event?||God is faithful. I felt His presence throughout the week. I have learnt that hard work, perseverance and staying focused pays off.|
|General observations and vibe of the meet?||There was a wonderful, supportive spirit amongst the team and coming in as the youngest swimmer on the team, I found this very encouraging.|
|What/ who / motivated you throughout the meet / champs?||I am self-motivated, but I was very grateful to have my coach on tour with me to encourage and motivate me too. Daily I read scripture and so I felt at peace going into my races.|
|Biggest challenge leading up to / at the meet? (if any)||I can’t think of any 🙂
|What is happening next for you in sport?||I am training hard as Junior and Senior Nationals are coming up soon.|
|Anything Else you want to mention?||I am excited for next year and to see what God has planned for me.|
Thank you so much for taking these interviews. 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.