Meet Tim & Clinton: Amazing WSU Elite Athletes 🏊
Aug 15, 2019 by CORINNE Blight
Recently we talked with Clinton and Tim both of whom are are incredible Elite Athletes who are studying at Western Sydney University. Clinton is an Elite Swimming Coach and Tim is an Elite swimmer coached by Clinton. In this interview, we talk about their humble beginnings in the pool to where they are now & what they’ve achieved so far (and what they hope to go on to achieve).
We know you’ll be inspired by this amazing story.
Tell us about yourself, your history in swimming and where you are now:
C: I’m the Head Swimming Coach at Auburn Swimming Club. Up until the age of 18, I swam competitively, but now my focus is solely on coaching- I much prefer to stay on the land!
T: I started swimming as a form of rehabilitation after having my right foot amputated. My parents built a pool and wanted my brother & me to learn to swim. At the age of 9 I competed in my first competition, which was at a school level. I loved it! After this, I went onto levels after that and realised I loved to compete. My parents put me into a full-time squad shortly after and I slowly kept building my strength and speed. I now train with Clinton at Auburn Swimming Club.
How did you and Tim get connected? Tell us a bit about your coaching journey so far.
C: When I was coaching at the Hills Swimming club in late 2014, Tim at the age of 14 approached me and asked me to be his coach. At the time, he had grand dreams of representing Australia. Soon after in 2015, Tim made the 2015 World Champions squad and since then, hasn’t missed a team selection.
What are the goals you’re currently working towards?
C: Swimming is my current full time occupation and focus. I’m also studying a Bachelor of Business & Commerce (Sports Management), part-time. I’m not yet 100% sure what I want to do at the end of my degree. I do know though having a tertiary education will open more doors for me in the future.
T: I’m working towards the 2019 World Swimming Championships this year in London. I hope to win a few different medals in various events, which will put me in a good position for next years Olympics. After that, I’m focusing on the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
What does a typical week of training/ coaching look like for you?
C: Tim trains for 8 sessions in the pool out of Auburn swimming pool, in addition he does gym sessions. With Tim now starting university, we work together to fit in study requirements around that. As I’m studying Part-time I find it a little easier to work around my schedule.
T: I’m currently studying a 5-year degree in Electrical Engineering at WSU. I’m doing 3 units but it still can be hard to manage everything! Each Thursday for instance, I have a training session followed by one gym session. Then I have to get to university for a three-hour physics workshop. I factor all my assessments & university commitments in with my training for swimming and haven’t found it too hard to manage so far.
Tim & Clinton with other Para Pan Pacs swimming athletes from Team Australia.
What’s your favourite thing about coaching swimming?
C: I love the people and the competition! I love watching an athlete perform after working together so closely for so long, get in the pool and achieve their dreams and goals. As you see them grow, you see small snippet of yourself in them, which is really cool. You also see the effect you have on people in their own growth and development; I’m more than someone who writes a program for them I’m a mentor or a life coach even.
What are some of your coaching/ swimming career highlights so far?
C: There have been two so far. The first is watching Tim from the grandstands win 2 silver medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. I was very proud to see him do this and get a podium finish for Australia.
Second was when Tim was chosen to represent Australia at the Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships in Cairns 2018. Tim was one of five athletes I worked with on this team, he went on to win 5 gold and 1 silver medals. Every time he got in the water, he swam really fast and did amazing job representing Australia.
T: Mine would be winning 2 silver medals at 2018 Commonwealth Games as well as making my first final of the Paralympic Games in 2016.
How has the Elite Athlete Program assisted you in your studies & reaching your swimming goals?
T: The program has been a great help when I haven’t been able to attend classes when I’m away or interstate. For instance when I was competing in the National Championships, Brendan assisted me get my exams/ assessments moved around so I could still compete without any worries.
What advice do you have for future elite swimmers or athletes wanting to achieve greatness in their sport?
C: Believe in yourself & work hard. If you world hard & believe 99% of dreams can come true.
T: It will be very hard, and you might have a love and hate relationship with swimming but the results will definitely as the more you put in, the more you get back. Even though it may not be immediate, it certainly will come in years & months after your hard work.
We hope you enjoyed this interview as much as we loved talking with Clinton & Tim!
Stay tuned as we have more awesome interviews with our Elite Athletes coming soon.