By Emily Berge-Thielmann
Athletic Director of the Kilpatrick Athletic Center at Simon’s Rock, Bill Meier, is always up to something new and exciting. As the founder and program director of SwimAmerica of Western Massachusetts and the head coach for both the Pace/Makers Masters Swim Team and the Simon’s Rock Llamas Swim Team, Meier focuses much of his efforts on swim education.
Most recently, Meier was invited by the Chairman of the Olympic Committee in China to visit and help expand their swim education programs and training for Olympic hopefuls in swimming. “It was incredible,” says Meier on his chance to visit and teach in Shenzhen.
These trainings were focused on training instructors in a 10-step method crafted by Bill Meier for introductory swim education, primarily aimed at small children. This is the same method Meier uses with children learning to swim at the Kilpatrick Athletic Center. These trainings took place both in the water and in the classroom. Working with a number of Chinese swim instructors, Meier worked with a Chinese language interpreter. “It was natural from the first sentence.”
In addition to his recent trip to China, Meier has also worked training lifeguards on the Caribbean island of Montserrat–home to Simon’s Rock’s Signature Program: Ecology and Sustainability Studies in Montserrat. Meier was initially approached by Simon’s Rock faculty traveling to Montserrat to teach swim refresher courses and ensure students felt comfortable and safe swimming in the open ocean. Meier, who makes friends wherever he goes, ended up connecting with folks in the local Montserrat government and was able to teach lifeguard training to island residents.
Meier says, in his classic ever-present upbeat style, on his recent visit to China: “It was fun!”