Special Message from Pierre Lafontaine (CEO of Swimming Canada)

2011 Target: Pride, Excellence and Victory

January, 05, 2011

"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too." - JFK 1962 Rice University Speech

What a great reflection to start the New Year with. Set the highest possible expectation on ourselves.

You choose to be swimmers or coaches, not because it is easy, but because you are the toughest of the toughest and because you are part of creating Canadian swimming history in the next 12-18 months. What exciting times we all have in front of us.

The past year was a great one for swimming in Canada. We produced great performances at all levels - from the Sr & Jr Pan-Pac's, Commonwealth games, "B" Team, World Short Course, YOG, NACC, IPC Worlds, to hosting of the Open Water World Championships (Roberval). Canadian swimmers were firing from everywhere. We must be thankful to the swimmers and their coaches but also to everyone associated with the sport. 

2010 was by far our best year on network television. Over six different prime time shows covering the World Open Water and World Cup, the Pan-Pacs trials, the Pan-Pacs, the Commonwealth Games and the World Short Course Championships. 

CBC and SRC have been great partners throughout the years and a big part of our swimming family. We are again excited to have our World Trials in Victoria and this summer FINA World Championships covered on their networks. 

"It takes a village to grow a child" and the collaboration of Swim Clubs boards, officials, pool directors/Managers, Parents, Provincial associations, Federal and Provincial Government have all been part of our success we have seen. Their continued efforts will have helped us set the stage for an outstanding upcoming 2011 season.

As we look forward to 2011, great opportunities on the international stage will arise with the FINA World Aquatic Championships (Shanghai, China), the World University Games (Shenzhen, China), the National "B" team Tour (France), the World Junior Swimming Championships (Lima, Peru), the Pan-Am's and the Para-Pan-Am's (Guadalajara, MEX) and the NACC in Mexico.

In addition, 2011 will also see Swimming Canada's new 20/20 Strategic plan, and its streamlined national official's education plan, its new Club excellence program, and a new competition coaching certification.

Our quest for the ultimate performances cannot be deterred. The rest of our competitors are moving ahead and we need to move at a faster pace. Our willingness, in the next 18 months, to be more determined than ever, to out-coach and out train everyone, to help each other help the Nation will be our biggest strength. 

Canadian Coaches can only expect world leading performances if Canada is willing to be the world leader. It is our commitment to this generation of swimmers and to the future one's. We are not only about setting dreams and creating an environment for daily excellence, but also we must expect actions that will set performances were 30 million Canadians will be proud to be part of this great Nation.

Our strengths and our weakness are well known. We must then celebrate our latest achievements, we must take the time to study our opponents, we must prioritize our weakness and we must choose to find better ways to challenge each other and our athletes to "be the best that we can be."

The growth of our sport in our country is certainly squarely on our shoulders. I am very optimistic with all the possibilities ahead of us. If there is a top of a podium to be had, then let's do whatever we need to do to achieve it.

"Medals do Matter!"

This effort to become a world powerhouse in swimming requires that all of us work together even more than ever. Let's make Canada great, let's add, change, improve and commit 10% more this year than the previous one. 

Sport is the greatest way to bring pride and hope to our people, to our Nation.

Lets Go for it Canada!

Pierre Lafontaine
CEO & National Coach
Swimming Canada