Millie’s mental strength places her with the best
MANY great Australian water sports athletes did their time in pools around Coffs Harbour as they quietly worked away towards their dream.
Maddy Gough, Madeleine McTernan, Courtney Hancock and Ky Kinsela are a few names which come to mind.
Now our next prodigy has emerged, with Macksville's Millie Bradshaw on the path to superstardom.
Millie recently competed at the Australian School Sport National Championships in Melbourne, where the dynamic 12-year-old won a bronze medal in the 100m butterfly and silver in the 4x50m medley relay.
Millie smashed her personal best in the 100m butterfly by an astounding three seconds.
"Butterfly is my favourite stroke, it's the hardest one so it's nice to be good at it," Millie said.
The Macksville Public School student wakes up at 3.45am most mornings and travels to Coffs to train under top coach Dean Lawrence.
Lawrence has developed many a top athlete over the years and said Millie has a quality only the special swimmers possess.
"She won't quit, no matter how hard it gets," Lawrence said.
"Millie is just so tough, I race her against the boys and start swimmers a couple of metres in front of her so she has to chase.
"She'll just keep pushing through. It's a special quality to have … Maddy Gough was the same."
Millie said her focus is now on doing longer events, with both the 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley races she'd like to contest.