Fred Loek

Year Inducted: 
2018
Inductee Category: 
Builder
Story: 

Born in the Netherlands, Loek - a member of the Dutch National Junior Squad - emigrated to Canada, settled in Port Credit, competed a bit then became coach and a mainstay of the Don Rowing Club.

A member of the Don Rowing Club in Mississauga since 1968 - the club he stayed with throughout his entire life in Canada - Loek was passionate about many things, including rowing and photography. Fred coached at the Dons for many years, at many different levels.  Fred was passionate about rowing, and kept everyone at the club training at all times of the year – including 100 km bike rides.  Fred made sure to work with the rowers he was training.  Fred loved to coach anyone – junior rowers with promise, lightweight crews, men’s and women’s crews right up to Masters. He was phenomenal with all of his rowers, exuded integrity and was incredibly generous with his time.

His first taste of coaching success came in 1991 when Heather Hattin and Anita Moller won the World junior pairs title in Moscow. In the '84 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Silken and Danielle Laumann won a pairs bronze medal for Canada and the following year the Port Credit club's lightweight tandem of Cameron Harvey and Rob Haag became bronze medal winners in the Canadian Championships.

In '87, Fred had some outstanding successes as he coached Silken Laumann through a nagging back injury to a bronze medal in the Universiade Games in Zagreb then to a Pan American Games gold in Indianapolis. Rob Haag was also a member of the Pan Am Games' Canadian Team. In Copenhagen, Heather Hattin (this time teamed with Janice mason) became world doubles champion.

The following year Fred went to the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea as a national rowing squad coach for Heather Hattin, Silken Laumann and Kay Worthington.

This hard work provided Fred with an experience many dream of but few will ever realize - he had coached in an Olympic competition.  And, as importantly to Fred, he taught students at one of the city of Mississauga’s most economically disadvantage schools the basics and love of rowing.

Fred’s was loved by the entire Don Rowing Club community, and the Rowing Community throughout Canada.  Most importantly, he was deeply loved by his wife, Liz, son Jonathan, daughter Eve, and granddaughter Livvy.

Fred passed away on August 30, 2015.