An accident might have stopped any other athlete but when the lad from Dubbo dislocated his shoulder, it actually set him in the path to becoming the fastest 16-year-old in Australia.
As I reported last week, Angus McDonald touched almost a body length clear of his rivals in the National Swimming Age Championships two weeks ago in the quickest time of the year in his age group.
That swim followed an outstanding Commonwealth Games meet where he dropped his overall ranking 20 places and moved him down into top class company.
The shoulder rehabilitation introduced the lanky swimmer to a top-class team of specialists who worked on building his strength and improving his technique.
“I was just a pull and kick swimmer really, but moving to Trinity Grammar in Sydney and working under a first-rate coach helped build my speed. Apparently, I have an ability to almost hyper-extend my shoulders and this increases my purchase on the water and leads to a much deeper stroke,” Angus explained.
“I couldn’t see it at the time but now I realise the intensive physio program I underwent has made a huge difference. I’ve dropped my 100m time nearly 3 seconds in the six months since I returned to the pool and by almost double that in the 200m.”
Angus credited his local coaches A.J. Newman, Anthony Chapman and Tish Gallagher with giving him a foundation and love of the sport from which he could build.
“My coach at Trinity has extended my skills but it was the basic groundwork and solid stroke technique that my Dubbo coaches instilled that have set me on the path to national success,” a humble Angus remarked.
The young man with the world at his fingertips jets off to Fiji for the Pan Pacific Junior Games later in the year.
Congratulations Angus, your achievements are well earned.