Michael spreads the word

One of our Champions in Schools athletes, Michael McCreadie, was recently on a coaching trip to Canada where he was given the opportunity to spread the Winning Scotland Foundation’s messages internationally.

Michael is a champion Paralympian with success in lawn bowls and wheelchair curling as well as having competed in swimming and wheelchair basketball.

“At the end of 2014 I was in Stroud, Ontario, Canada taking part in running a wheelchair curling workshop. The organisers thought it might be a good idea to make more use of me whilst in Canada, so they organised some speaking engagements. They arranged five in total – three schools, the local spinal injuries group and the Rotary.

I thought it might be useful to include in my presentations some of the information I use in my work for Winning Scotland. As a Champion in Schools athlete I was fortunate to be invited to hear the world renowned psychologist Carol Dweck speak and share her philosophies on reaching your potential. I felt that my presentations would be a great opportunity to share her inspirational views.  

I presented to 600 pupils and told the children about my early childhood and pointed out that I struggled both physically, mentally and emotionally throughout that period. However I was always positive and worked harder each day to be better than I was the day before. I expressed to the kids that because I struggled I became stronger as a result of these setbacks in early life.

I then explained to them that although I had competed in seven Paralympic Games and been World Champion two times, I had also failed time and time again. I often missed the last shot in a basketball match as well missing the target in countless curling games.  It was because I had missed so many opportunities in sport that I worked harder to succeed, resulting in winning the Championships that I did.

It was so rewarding for me to hear the wonderful comments from the school children in particular…"

Megan “What I learned from your story was to always believe in yourself and have good self-esteem and to keep trying no matter what and that you should learn from your mistakes.”

Dylan “I learned that you should always try again and it is ok to make mistakes.

Emerson “I learned from your story to never give up even if what you’re doing is hard.

Lauren “I personally know how you feel when you’re waiting for someone close to you to come and visit when you’re in a rough situation.

Morgan “I know what you go through because I get bullied.

Gracie “You helped me believe that I can do anything you want to if you just keep trying even if you fail.

Elizabeth “You made me realise and appreciate that my life isn’t hard. I also learned to always try your best and never give up on anything.

Kristen “I now know that when I’m in a situation where I’m trying to do something in life I will keep trying.

Kelsey "I dance and sometimes it's hard to keep trying, but I will now."