Athlete Belt Goal | Meredith Koch


#highfivesathlete Meredith Koch swims into her 5th belt goal!

Goal 1: Balance for 15 seconds without use of braces, crutches or assistance.

Goal 2: Ski a blue run top to bottom using my new ski equipment without any assistance or falling.

Goal 3: Improve gait balance and flow so that weight on Locomotor training sessions can be decreased to 46%.

Goal 4: Compete at the Para Can-Am Swimming Meet and acquire 3 additional qualifying times for the Para World Swim Series in 2018.

Goal 5: Make Emerging Team in at least 1 event for U.S. Paralympic Swimming.


As you can see in her belt goal progression, Meredith has come a long way since her injury in September of 2016. From working on her balancing to going Michael Phelps mode in the water, she’s getting after it. Before her injury, Meredith had swam mostly as cross training for other sports, and has found swimming almost accidentally. Since getting hooked on the sport in 2016, she received national recognition in 2017, and has now made the emerging team time cut in the 50m freestyle. Thanks to the Boston University’s Master Swim team, her trainer at the local YMCA, and countless hours of PT, massage therapy and shockwave therapy, Meredith has been able to achieve her lofty goals.


Meredith is classified as an S8/SB7/SM8 Paralympic swimmer. Don’t know what those numbers mean? Don’t worry, neither did I when I first read them. You can head over to this Paralympic swimming page to see the classifications broken down and explained. 

...I forget that I am even paralyzed while swimming. That's truly the beauty of adaptive sports and finding the one that speaks to you the most with a community that you feel included in.

Meredith Koch on what swimming means to her

With a time of 36.87 seconds in the 50 meter freestyle, Meredith was able to make the time cut for the emerging team. At the same meet, she was also able to clock in a personal record in the 50 meter split leg butterfly, adding to the accomplishments. A rough 2018 with some set backs made these times even sweeter, and Meredith isn’t stopping there. She’s looking to make the national C team for the 50m freestyle as well as make the emerging team time cut in more events. Ultimately, her goal is to participate in the Paralympic trials in the summer of 2020 and we can’t wait to see her accomplish it! Check her out in lane 6 (farthest lane) in the video below!

The Arcade Belet Program


The Arcade Belt Program was put in place to provide our athletes with a system for setting goals. Similar to a karate belt system, athletes move through the ranks when they complete goals they set for themselves and receive a belt with stars corresponding to the goal number they accomplish.


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