One of the breakout performances of the 2018 Commonwealth Games came in the form of 18-year-old Lewis Clareburt of New Zealand racing his way to a bronze medal in the 400m IM.
Clareburt had missed the Commonwealth qualifying time at this year’s NZ Championships but was discretionarily selected to his nation’s squad just weeks before the Games. He wound up claiming his 400m IM bronze by hacking an impressive 4 seconds off of his own personal best while competing in the Gold Coast final.
Of his protegé, Clareburt’s coach, Gary Hollywood of Capital Swim Club, has said, “From my perspective Lewis ranks in the top five percent of all swimmers I have coached since 1986.”
Now another coach will get to see Clareburt in training action, as storied Aussie leader Doug Frost is taking over the Capital Swim Club for several weeks while Hollywood travels overseas. Frost helped guide legend Ian Thorpe throughout his magnificent career, holding posts on the Australian national teams for the 1995, 1997 and 1999 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, 1998 World Championships and Commonwealth Games, as well as the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
Says Hollywood of Frost, “I have been extremely fortunate to have Doug Frost as a long time mentor and friend. Australian Swimming Coaches are a wonderful community and I’ve been lucky enough over many years to experience their wonderful “Aussie Mateship”.
For his part, Hollywood started coaching at the grassroots level, borrowing £2000 from the bank back in 2001 to attend his first Australian Coaches Conference. He found himself “mixing with some of the greatest coaches in the world,” including Frost, Denis Cotterell, Alan Thompson Bill Sweetenham and Laurie Lawrence.
Hollywood says, “I owe the many Coaches and Associations of Ireland, Britain, America, Australia and New Zealand a huge debt of gratitude to now be in a position to be able to coach a Swimmer of Lewis Clareburt‘s ability.”