Sport / Rower Kim’s not one to rock the boat

“If ever there was an athlete deserving of greater recognition it is Canberra-based rower Kim Brennan,” writes sports columnist TIM GAVEL

WOMEN’S sport has come a long way with the emergence of a National Women’s AFL and the women’s Big Bash. But it still has a long way to go.

Rower Kim Brennan… unbeaten in the women’s single sculls on the world stage since 2014.

Rower Kim Brennan… unbeaten in the women’s single sculls on the world stage since 2014.

The profile of women as sporting personalities continues to lag behind their male counterparts.

The hope is that this will change come the Olympic Games where non-mainstream sports assume coverage, which has been lacking over the previous four years.

A case in point is Kim Brennan, formerly Kim Crow. If ever there was an athlete deserving of greater recognition it is Canberra-based rower Kim Brennan.

Kim, coached on Lake Burley Griffin by Lyle McCarthy, hasn’t been beaten in the women’s single sculls on the world stage since 2014. Beyond rowing circles, many would not recognise her status in the sport or understand the sacrifices she has made to make it this far.

By her very nature she is not one who seeks a profile for her own benefit but more for the possibilities it creates for young women coming through in various sports.

A lawyer, she has juggled her sport and profession with distinction over the past four years.

She heads to Rio as the gold-medal favourite. The hope is that the interest generated in her performance will lead to another generation of young women taking up the sport.

Brumbies on threshold of history 

IF the Brumbies are to win the title this year it will go down as one of the greatest performances by a team in Super Rugby history.

In fact, to make the finals will take a Herculean effort from a side ravaged by injury and off-the-field turmoil for the first three months of the season.

With three games remaining before the playoffs the Brumbies and the Waratahs are locked together at the top of the Australian Conference on 34 points. Under the new finals system, the leading Australian side makes it through alongside the top teams from the South African and NZ Conferences.

The next three teams in the finals series are made up of the next best three teams overall, at the moment they are all NZ teams – the Chiefs, Hurricanes and Highlanders.

In the remaining three games the Brumbies face the Queensland Reds at Canberra Stadium, the Blues in Auckland and the Western Force in Canberra. The Waratahs take on the Sun Wolves away from home, the Hurricanes at home and the Blues away.

For the Brumbies to remain in finals contention speaks volumes for the team given the off-field injuries to key players for much of the season. David Pocock, Jordan Smiler, Joe Tomane and Henry Speight are all out through injury while Ita Vaea was in career-best form when forced to retire earlier this year.

 The off-field dramas earlier in the season may have prepared the team for anything that’s thrown in front of them in the remaining three games.

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