Support4Sport

I believe the Support4Sport program is really the best thing to happen to sport in Nova Scotia in a very long time

Ken Bagnell, President
Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic

Mattias Wolter

Mattias
Wolter
When the going gets tough, the tough get going
Athlete

Jumping over barriers, leaping over water and running as fast as your legs can carry you might be intimidating to some, but to Mattias Wolter it’s just another day of doing what he loves – steeplechase.
 
Steeplechase takes place on a standard running track, but with a few twists. In steeplechase, runners can break immediately for the inside of the track, the number of laps varies from race to race, and competitors must clear 28 fixed barriers and seven water jumps to complete the course. It’s a challenging sport that requires a great deal of endurance and skill.
 
Mattias’ love affair with running and steeplechase began in junior high school.  In his first full year of training, he managed to be within seconds of the World Youth standard.
 
 “While this was part of the learning curve of competition, I remember being disappointed, but I knew I couldn’t give up,” he says.   
 
Being an elite athlete in Atlantic Canada can pose some challenges, particularly when attempting to find higher levels of competitions in events. This meant that ultimately if Mattias was going to be able to compete at a National level, he would have to find competitions outside the area, which would evidently be expensive. He did a lot of fundraising on his own in order to cover the travel expenses associated with chasing opportunities to develop his skill, but it wasn’t until Mattias found the Support4Sport program that he was able to truly up his game. Bluenose Athletics, the club where Mattias trained in his hometown of Bridgewater, also received funding from Support4Sport, helping the programs available to the community grow at all levels
 
“The funding was very supportive for me to travel to the places I needed to go throughout the year to gain the level of competition and standards I needed to make the National teams,” he says. “Also, we have a really good club program at home in Nova Scotia, so I could look forward to the summer season because thanks to funding, we get to travel together and it makes the trips fun.”
 
Because Mattias has been able to travel for training and competitions, it opened up many doors for him. He was the 2009 Pan-American Junior Championships gold medalist in the steeplechase and has since been namedthe 2010 Sport Nova Scotia male individual athlete of the year, representing Canada at this summer's World Junior Athletic Championships in Moncton. 
 
“My sport has already taken me to a few great places in the world and I have met lots of people during these trips, which have been very interesting. I have also become acquainted with many people in my province through my sport that I might not have met had I not been involved at this level.”
 
Mattias is a prime example of what happens when you work hard and follow your dreams. He is a go-getter who continues to push himself on and off the track. He is now at the University of Louisville, Kentucky on a full scholarship, where he focuses on steeplechase and cross-country running.  He hopes to accomplish a lot of great things during his college transition into a senior level athlete and feels very fortunate that his current training group consists of five Canadian National athletes, including the 2009 NCAA steeplechase champion, Matt Hughes.
 
“I continue training because I want to see how far I can go in my sport, and because I still feel energy and motivation to enjoy the sport.”

Location

Bridgewater, NS
Canada
44° 22' 56.0712" N, 64° 31' 31.6272" W

Location

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