JEREMY McClure had two extra reasons to celebrate his 30th birthday last month with the milestone occasion falling on the same night he was unveiled as the winner of Swimming WA’s Sir Frank Beaurepaire Trophy and the Multi-Class Swimmer of the Year Award.
The Bull Creek resident represented Australia at his fourth Paralmypic Games in Rio de Janeiro last September, claiming a best ever fifth place finish in the 100m backstroke.
He also completed the first double Rottnest crossing by a blind swimmer in December, raising more than $5000 for Alzheimer’s Australia WA along the way.
McClure is a multiple Multi-Class Swimmer of the Year Award recipient but picked up the Sir Frank Beaurepaire Trophy, awarded to the WA swimmer with the highest world ranking on April 30, for the first time.
“I wasn’t actually at the awards night because my wife Heidi had organised a party for my 30th,” McClure said.
“I found out when I got a text message from Debbie Doody (president of Booragoon-based South Shore Swimming Club) congratulating me.
“It was definitely a good reason to crack another beer; these kinds of things don’t come around very often so you’ve got to celebrate.”
The 30-year-old remains determined to represent Australia at a fifth Paralympics in Tokyo in 2020 but has taken the year off competitive swimming to concentrate more on his job as a sports massage therapist.
“I am still keeping my toe in the water; I did the normal single Rottnest Channel crossing in February and I’m pretty keen to do some more open water swimming over the next year or so,” he said.
“There is a group of swims called the Ocean 7 that are meant to be the hardest in the world to complete.
“The English Channel is one of them, as well as the Catalina Channel over in California; I’m pretty keen to give that one a go in late September if I can save up the money.”
McClure said he would likely ramp up his pool training again towards the end of 2018 with a view towards securing a spot in Australia’s Paralympic team for Tokyo.
“The ultimate goal is still to win a Paralympic medal,” he said.