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Olympic Champions continue charity work in Zambia

4 October 2016

ROWING: Just over 50 days ago Kim Brennan realised her life-long dream of winning Olympic gold as she rowed herself to the top of the Rio 2016 podium.

Now the Olympic Single Sculls Champion, alongside husband and Beijing 2008 gold medallist Scott, are using their honeymoon to help those less fortunate realise a dream of their own - fresh water. 

The Brennan duo and South African London 2012 Olympic Champion Lawrence Ndlovu have returned to the Kafue River & Rowing Centre in Zambia where they delivered the first rowing machines to the facility. 

"The visit was incredibly worthwhile," Kim Brennan said.

"The Kafue really is the lifeblood of the region. It provides electricity, drinking water, sustains agriculture, fishing and mining.

"Managing competing demands on the limited resource is going to be key to the future of the people of Zambia. There are already water shortages, cholera and electricity blackouts. Children walk long distances every day to collect drinking water."

The Kafue River & Rowing Centre strikes a balance between providing facilities for the locals to learn how to row while also being used to pass on the knowledge needed to ensure the river is used to its full capicity in everyday life. 

"More than anything I learned that clean water is about the people," continued Brenann.

"It is about learning and stewardship. Rowing is a great fit in the partnership - it teaches joy, teamwork and pride in water.

“It was so incredible to see the fun the kids had seeing a rowing machine for the first time. I can only imagine how much joy rowing in a boat will bring."

The program first started in 2011, when the World Rowing and WWF, the World Wide Fund for Nature, began an alliance to use rowing to educate and raise awareness about freshwater.

The lower basin of the Kafue River, in Zambia, was identified as a place in which significant challenges are faced and since then the time and resources of rowing athletes and officials have been of great benefit to the area. 

You can learn more about the project and donate here>>> 

Matt Bartolo
olympics.com.au

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