Our golden girl is a dynamo in the pool
SHE smiles shyly when asked how she went at the Multi-Class Para Championships recently at Homebush in Sydney.
McKinley Arnison is an 11-year-old dynamo in both the swimming pool and on the athletics field and her recent results prove it.
"I went in the PSSA (Primary School Sports Association) state athletics in the multiclass section and came second in shotput and eighth in discus," she said.
"That means I go to Nationals now for shotput."
So McKinley and her family will be heading down to Sydney this month again to see the young Evans Head athlete compete against other 11-year-olds for shotput.
But this isn't the only string in her bow.
McKinley is also an accomplished swimmer and in the recent Para Championships came first in every event she went in including a personal best time in each race.
"I got a gold medal for the 50 metre freestyle, the 50 metre backstroke, the 50 metre breaststroke, the 50 metre butterfly and the 100 metre freestyle," she said.
"I didn't expect to win.
"I was very happy and excited."
McKinley received her medals from 15-year-old Paralympian Timothy Hodge, who recently competed in the Rio Paralympics.
Since she was eight-years-old McKinley has been a member of the Richmond Valley Swimming Club and definitely loves her swimming.
"This is my last year doing athletics," she said.
"I am going to focus more on my swimming."
McKinley swims in the S8 division due to her cerebral palsy.
"That division says how much it affects my swimming," she said.
None of that stops the Evans River school student, however, and once she starts focussing on her swimming, she may need to find another place for all her medals.
"I have a box of medals as I have so many," she laughed.
We think she may need a trophy room, or even better, a 'pool' room very soon.