Club president rushed to hospital as Swans make history
INSTEAD of being part of the heaving crowd at Swan Park watching his beloved Yeppoon Swans claim a national AFL record on Saturday, club president Peter Watkins was confined to a hospital bed.
The 60 year old had been working tirelessly for weeks after the Swans were chosen to host the AFL Capricornia grand finals for the first time in the club’s 40-year history.
Grand final day had arrived and things were going tremendously. The crowd was building and Peter had caught snippets of the Yeppoon reserve grade side’s impressive grand final victory.
Anticipation was building towards the senior men’s game, in which the Swans were chasing a sixth straight AFLC flag and a record 89th straight win.
But about 4pm, midway through the women’s grand final, Peter started feeling dizzy, he was shaking and his heart was racing at 176 beats a minute.
He was tended to by the on-ground medic before being taken by ambulance to Yeppoon Hospital for treatment.
The prognosis was good, although he does have to undergo further tests, and he was released about 9pm.
Peter’s hospital stint meant he missed the Swans’ history-making victory - they came from behind to beat BITS Saints by 61 points.
“Here I was trying to watch the livestream in bits and pieces from the hospital,” he said this morning.
“The first score I got was at quarter time (when the Swans were down 7-1). It certainly wasn’t the news I was expecting.
“It was kind of ironic, given that I so wanted to be there with the players and supporters and to be part of it all.
“But we got the record and we won the six in a row, which is the main thing.
“I went back to the club afterwards for a little while just to catch up with people and then I came home to rest, which is what the doctor ordered.”
Peter believes he was probably run down.
“I don’t think it was stress-related necessarily; I think it was more exhaustion,” he said.
“I’d been going fairly hard for quite a few days, and I’d had bugger all to eat and bugger all to drink (on the day), which I think was probably 90 per cent of the problem.
“I’m feeling good now and one positive is it got me out of the clean-up this morning.”
Peter said he was incredibly grateful for the care he received from the medic, the paramedics and the hospital staff.