10-year-old FAST swimmer breaking records
Since her move from South Korea last year, ten-year-old Yedam Lee has made a big impression in Fredericton’s FAST aquatics program.
Lee, a student at Liverpool Elementary, has broken 9 team records since joining FAST last September. Some of her records include 100 metre free, 200 metre breaststroke, 200 metre IM (medley consisting of four strokes) and the 400 metre IM.
The competitive swimming team which was established in 1984, practices six times a week and is one of the top teams in the Maritimes, winning the provincial championships in 2012.
Coach John Alexander MacDonald, who has been coaching since 2006, noticed Lee’s talent immediately during last years tryouts.
“I caught her out of the corner of my eye, and was like ‘oh my goodness’ compared to everyone else in the water, she was quite a few leagues in front of them, so it was really something to see.”
Lee, shy and very soft spoken says she has been swimming since age 5 and loves to compete especially for the breast stroke.
“Over the number of major competitions that we’ve done since Yedam started, she has placed first in the majority, or the top two if anything,” says MacDonald.
The coach says it is essential to incorporate the fun aspect of swimming as well, especially for the younger age groups.
“When swimmers are a little bit younger they may be very talented and have a natural feel for the water, and then as they start to develop this does change a little bit. So we really need to stay within the conforms of making sure she’s still enjoying it and that it is a fun environment. A lot of the time with younger athletes they will be worked to hard when they are younger and burnout around age 13 to 15, we don’t want to see that happen with Yedam”
Aside from swimming Yedam says she loves to play chess and wants to be a scientists when she grows up.
When asked what she likes most about Canada, she smiles, saying, “the study is not very hard.”
Coach MacDonald would like to see Yadam continue to pursue swimming in the future.
“I’d love to see her continue with swimming throughout high school, I think she’s a very good asset to the team. It is always hard coming into a new environment, but everyone on the team has been very good at making her feel welcome.”
The team’s next major competition will take place in Moncton this February, against all New Brunswick teams.