An article by RNSW Sports Journalism Scholarship Holder Saskia Hunt
London might be a long way from Milton on the south coast of NSW, but for Australian rower Bronwen Watson it was a journey she was all to ready to take.
Bronwen, from the Sydney University Women’s Rowing Club, is competing in the lightweight women’s double scull in London.
And she heads to the Olympic Games with an impressive pedigree, including three consecutive world championships in 2007, 2008 and 2009 world rowing championships. Her father, David, might have some helpful advice, having competed at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics in road cycling.
But it hasn’t been a straightforward path for the 35-year-old Bronwen. She retired from the sport shortly after winning bronze at the 2003 World Championships only to start rowing again socially from 2005 to 2009 in England. Recently she made yet another outstanding comeback to qualify for the London team. Her double’s partner, Hannah Every-Hall, also came out of retirement for these Games.
Bronwen’s most recent challenge was just two months ago. As preparations intensified for the Games she fractured her spine. Her dedicated recovery and racing impressed selectors and she held on to her place in the Australian team.
It was while “Bron” completed her degree in health education at the University of Sydney that SUWRC vice-president Jane Spring developed a great relationship with the star athlete.
“At that time she rowed for St George then Sydney Rowing Club, but she also competed for Sydney University at intervarsity and represented all Australian Universities in the Trans Tasman regatta against New Zealand,” said Jane.
“I saw her win a bronze in Milan in the light quad and I saw her win gold in Munich in the light quad.
“She is an excellent athlete with lots of top level experience. I hope she and Hannah win!”
Jane has travelled to London and will watch some of the Games rowing events – including Bronwen’s heats and (fingers crossed) finals.
Like what you read? Saskia Hunt is one of the Rowing NSW Sports Journalism Scholarship holders. Read more about the program here.