Being of Inuit descent, Leanne Sirup’s history in the sport of swimming spans more than three decades; starting as a swimmer, and then transferring her skills to coaching and mentoring.
As an athlete, Leanne raced to the podium in numerous championships provincially and nationally as well as competing for Team Canada internationally. During this period, Leanne also set numerous provincial and national records predominantly in the 800m freestyle, the 200m butterfly, and the 400m individual medley. In addition to her decorated career, Sirup came out of retirement and competed at the 1997 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) where she raced to a total of 8 medals and the distinction of the British Columbia (BC) Premier’s Athlete of the Year.
As a coach, Sirup has been the head coach of Team BC since 2004. Leading her provincial swimmers in every NAIG since, including a swim team overall victory in NAIG 2017, Leanne has been honored with the Provincial Coach of the Year (2008) and the National Coaching Award for Indigenous Excellence in Sport as presented by the Aboriginal Sport Circle and the Coaches Association of Canada partnership (2008, 2021). Ms Sirup has also been selected by Swimming Natation Canada as a Select Coach for their High Performance Development program.
Leanne is keen on giving back to the Sport that has given so much to her. She is proud to serve as a National Coaching Certification Program’s Learning Facilitator since 2012, sharing her knowledge and experience to further the development the sport of swimming. Locally, Leanne continually endeavors to create opportunities for the youth to learn about the sport of swimming to open the pathway for success in any branch of Aquatics. To positively affect those around her, just as her coaches and mentors have done so generously for her.
Photo: Carrie Matheson