We’d forgive you if you thought you were looking at younger version of Lleyton Hewitt in this picture, after all... young Gus McDonald’s dream is to be a ‘real’ tennis player and to make the top 10 greatest tennis players one day.
Well on his way to achieving that goal at only SEVEN YEARS OLD, not only is Gus representing Orange Public School and the Orange District in tennis, he is now representing Western District NSW at the State Championships in Inverell in May this year.
Last week Gus won the Orange district tennis event which then took him to Parkes, where he competed against 17 other boys from the whole Western Area and out of nine matches he played, he won six of them, competing against children in year six!
OPS Principal, Mr Brad Tom said, “What Gus has achieved is enormous because kids can represent at Western region in under 8s in athletics and swimming, but to actually represent Western Region in an open event, which is all children up to the age of 13, when he is only seven, is a huge achievement in itself.”
Mr Tom added, “One of the things that is significant about Gus, is that when the trials came to go to the Orange district level, we actually thought Gus was just too young, his parents had enquired if would it be possible for him to go, even if it was just to get a bit of experience. Well he sure proved that he was meant to be there.”
“My first match I was very nervous because there was a year six boy and he was tall, and I was three/ one up and then we tied and then I just won it,” said Gus. “Mum and Dad were very proud of me and I’m really proud of winning the tennis matches I did. I didn’t think I could make it but when I got to the knock out round, I thought I could win it, then I went down, but then I said ‘c’mon Gus’ and then I just kept going up and playing better.”
“Most of the time I’m nervous at the start if I can see how good they are, because they are really good players, I just think to myself that ‘I can do this’ and then I play my best, if I just try my best and I will eventually come back.”
Gus credits his parents as being the influences for his love of tennis, “My Mum and Dad are really good tennis players, I started hitting the ball when I was two years old and they thought that I was really good so I should have lessons, they have always supported me so I am lucky. At the moment I’m playing tennis roughly four times a week. I enjoy meeting new friends and getting to travel to play the matches against others.”
Two other representatives from Orange Public School- Stephanie Gersbach and Ruby Holmes (reserve) will also travel for the competition, we wish you all the best!