Set to swim the worlds
Wanaka swimmer Hamish McLean is ready for racing at Glasgow’s IPC World Swimming Championships from July 13-19.
The 15-year-old Mt Aspiring College pupil is the Wanaka Swimming Club’s first national representative and leaves for the Northern Hemisphere on Friday, taking strong support from his community.
He attends a New Zealand Paralympics training camp in Orlando, USA, before going to Scotland to race in the open men’s 400m and 100m freestyle and 200m individual medley.
Coach Fi Hezinger said he would be the youngest swimmer in the open men’s category by about two years. She understood the next youngest is about 17-years-old.
When McLean, who was born with dwarfism, qualified for the 400m (5 mins 43 secs) he was ranked eighth in the world, although Hezinger believed that ranking may have since changed.
Hezinger said McLean’s meteoric rise to the top had been a ‘‘huge learning curve’’ for the teenager and she was proud of how he had tackled the pressure on top of his big training workload.
‘‘His maximum training load would be about 32km swimming a week, plus one gym and one pilates session,’’ she said.
‘‘He’s also been learning about fundraising and being in the public eye as well as the increased training and everything that comes with being a super star – and doing his NCEA exams. It is a big workload for any 15-year-old.’’
McLean said he was excited about competing despite a frustrating workload at times, particularly when it came to juggling school work and getting out of bed early.
‘‘Three times a week I get up at 5.20am and twice a week I get up at 5.50am. Weekends are good,’’ he said.
McLean’s fundraising has brought in at least $5500, thanks to a Wanaka District Clubs charity auction recently. More activities have been arranged.
Wanaka Para NZ team representative Hamish McLean, 15, with his swimming coach Fiona Hezinger. McLean leaves this week for a training camp in Orlando, US, before competing at the World Para Championships in Glasgow on July 13-19.