Marty Donohoe claimed second in Grafton High’s 50m race with a broken arm.
Marty Donohoe claimed second in Grafton High’s 50m race with a broken arm.

A broken arm doesn't stop Marty

TO MOST people coming second in a swimming event is no big deal.

But try doing it with a broken arm and wearing loose-fitting tights.

Grafton High student Marty Donohoe competed in the Mid-North Coast Zone trials at the Grafton Pool last week and defied all odds by touching the wall in second place in the 50m freestyle in a time of 27.91.

Donohoe, who is just shy of his 16th birthday, also competed in the 16 Boys Relay which Grafton High won and the All-Age Relay event where they picked up second place.

He has been described as a ‘freak’ by physical education staff at Grafton High for his amazing feats in the pool.

The thing is Donohoe doesn’t train - he prefers joining his mates for a surf at Mullaway or playing rugby league for the Grafton Ghosts.

So how did Donohoe manage to compete at Zone level with such an enormous disadvantage?

“My arm felt fine, the plaster is waterproof,” says Donohoe.

“The doctor told me not to go surfing but swimming would be OK.

“Diving into the pool was no problem and my arm didn’t hurt at all. The main problem was wearing the pink stockings.”

Pink Stockings? Donohoe explains: “We (relay team) decided to wear pink stockings or tights. We were probably not really allowed to wear them at Zone but it was something different and all in good fun.

“I decided to wear them in the 50m freestyle but they fell down to my knees and I couldn’t kick.

“It was not until they slipped down to my ankles that I could start to kick properly.”

Donohoe says he broke his arm on the first day back at school playing league and can’t wait for the plaster to come off in time for the rugby league season.

His older brother Josh was also a natural in the pool and - like his younger sibling - never trained but remarkably holds several swimming records at school level. Donohoe’s next meet is at the North Coast Carnival to be held at Banora on March 3.

Will he compete in his pink tights? “Not a chance,” he said.

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