Australia’s golden girl, Kim Brennan AM, has proven she is Rowing’s Number One at the 2016 Hancock Prospecting Rower of the Year Awards, winning the inaugural Gina Rinehart Rowing Leadership Award as well as Female Rower of the Year and Rower’s Rower.
Brennan won gold in the Women’s Single Sculls at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, breaking Australia’s eight-year Olympic rowing gold medal drought.
In addition to Brennan’s clean sweep, Australia’s Men’s Quadruple Scull, who won silver in Rio, won the 2016 Male Crew of the Year, Brennan’s coach, Lyall McCarthy, was once again named Coach of the Year, while Queenslander, Terry Mulligan, was named 2016 Volunteer of the Year at the glittering ceremony held at the National Arboretum in the Nation’s Capital.
Brennan had the honour of receiving the inaugural Gina Rinehart Rowing Leadership Award from Patron of the Australian Rowing Team and Executive Chairman of the Hancock Prospecting Group and the Georgina Hope Foundation, Mrs Rinehart.
The award, which will be given yearly, is awarded to an athlete who is an outstanding representative of the sport, having consistently performed on the world stage, while also having demonstrated outstanding leadership, both on and off the water, as well as showing the core values of the Australian Rowing Team.
Mrs Rinehart not only presented Brennan with the Leadership Award, she also had the honour to bestow the Olympic champion with the title of 2016 Female Rower of the Year.
Commenting on presenting Brennan with her two awards, Mrs Rinehart said: “Kim has displayed the conviction, character, dedication and more, necessary to be one of Australia’s best athletes, and she truly deserves all of the recognition she has worked so hard for.”
Having been at the Olympics and watching Kim’s win from the stands at Rio’s Lagoa de Rodrigo de Freitas, Mrs Rinehart commented: “Kim’s win in Rio was fantastic, and watching the race I know that every Australian there, and watching on TV at home, thought it was a stunning performance which saw her break Australia’s eight-year Olympic rowing gold medal drought. This is no doubt an extraordinary triumph and one that will go down in Australian Olympic history.”
The 2016 Hancock Prospecting Rower of the Year Awards also saw a special presentation to five recently retired Australian Rowing Team members, in recognition of their contribution to the sport. Olympic gold medallists, David Crawshay and Scott Brennan, along with World Champions Sam Beltz, Elizabeth Kell and Gavin Bellis were all celebrated during the evening.
Legendary Australian Olympic Team coach, Reinhold Batschi, was also honoured on the night. The former Olympic coach was named the 2016 recipient of the FISA Distinguished Services to International Rowing Award, and while unable to attend the World Rowing event in Vancouver, Rowing Australia surprised Batschi with his medal at the event. He received the award from two of his former athletes, Olympic silver medallists Jaime Fernandez and Rob Scott.
At the conclusion of the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games, The Hancock Prospecting Group and Georgina Hope Foundation extended their partnership and became the Principal Partner of Rowing Australia and the Australian Rowing Team until 2020.
The transformational deal with the two organisations provides significant and long term investment to support and deliver Rowing Australia’s High Performance plan, CampaignNumberOne, while it also provides the elite rowers with direct financial assistance in their new centralised training environments.