Scown accepts international award from a world away

By Jared Smith,

There's an irony in being recognised as international sportsperson of the year but not being able to receive the gong because you are overseas.

But Wanganui's Olympic bronze medal rower Rebecca Scown was prepared and able to make an appearance via cyberspace at last night's 2012 Property Brokers/Rivercity Livestock Ltd Wanganui Sports Awards.

After another glorious 12 months which include bronze and silver medals at Olympic and World Rowing Cup level, Scown was once again honoured with the senior sportsperson award now International class and the Wanganui Chronicle Supreme Award.

Her face lit up the screen via the wonders of YouTube from nearly 14,000km away.

"I'm currently in Kenya with my rowing partner Juliette [Haigh] and we're here doing some voluntary work for a few weeks," Scown explained.

Showing the same meticulous preparation she puts in on the water, Scown's eyes occasionally danced down to an off-screen cue card.

"I'd like to say I'm really happy and excited to receive this Gilbertson's Mitre 10 Mega Senior Sportsperson of the Year award ... a bit of a mouthful."

Her admirable pre-planning could almost be said to have let the cat out of the bag as the two acceptance speeches were posted as early as Tuesday to her Youtube account, well before last night's official announcement.

Nonetheless with no search pointers on the videos and with fewer than 10 views by yesterday afternoon, it was unlikely the game was given away.

The local girl made good made a point of acknowledge her roots. "Wanganui was the place that I found rowing. I'm glad to be able to represent Wanganui on the international stage so I'd just like to say thank you and I hope you all have a good night."

To hear Scown's acceptance speeches from Kenya, visit:; and;

- Wanganui Chronicle

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