Wanaka swim­mer on the move

Central Otago Mirror - - CLASSIFIEDS - MAR­JORIE COOK

Wanaka’s only sec­ondary school is Mount As­pir­ing College by name and also by na­ture.

Year 13 para-swim­mer Hamish McLean, 17, be­came the first college stu­dent to achieve Olympian sta­tus while still at school when he was se­lected for the Rio Par­a­lympics in 2016.

He was re­cently joined by college snow­boarder Zoi Sad­owskiSyn­nott and freeskier Finn Bilous, who have been se­lected for the 2018 Win­ter Olympics in South Korea.

The college’s Olympic trio fea­ture in this year’s 2017 sports hon­ours list of 19 college students who are achiev­ing na­tion­ally or in­ter­na­tion­ally in sport or in youth lead­er­ship.

The 2018 Para Com­mon­wealth Games is out of McLean’s reach, so he has been fo­cused on fin­ish­ing school be­fore qual­i­fy­ing for the Tokyo 2020 Par­a­lympics in his swimming clas­si­fi­ca­tion, S6.

‘‘They don’t have my clas­si­fi­ca­tion at the [Para] Com­mon­wealth Games.

‘‘They have a spe­cific num­ber of classes and mine wasn’t in there,‘‘ McLean said.

Next year, he in­tends to study a Bach­e­lor of Science, ma­jor­ing in maths, in Auck­land.

Auck­land ap­peals be­cause McLean wants to train un­der Par­a­lympics NZ’s na­tional de­vel- op­ment coach Gary Fran­cis.

‘‘It is the High Per­for­mance Cen­tre for Para NZ.

‘‘I go up and train with him ev­ery sec­ond hol­i­day.’’

McLean’s fo­cus has been on do­ing well in ex­ams this year, but he has kept up his train­ing with the Wanaka Swim Club and coach Natasha Flude, and he won medals at the 2017 New Zealand Opens.

He has also been work­ing twice a week at the New World Su­per­mar­ket to save for uni­ver­sity and is en­thu­si­as­tic about the free fees pro­posal.

‘‘Free fees would be great be­cause ac­com­mo­da­tion is quite ex­pen­sive. It is about $15,000,’’ he said.

McLean is a 400m freestyle spe­cial­ist and also com­petes in 200 in­di­vid­ual med­ley and the 100m free.

His path­way to Tokyo in­cludes the next world para champs, in Malaysia in 2019.

He did not com­pete at the 2017 world para champs be­cause of school.

His ad­vice to other students com­pet­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally?

‘‘Just have fun. That’s what you are do­ing the sport for,’’ he said.

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