North Coast Academy of Sport athlete of the year Kate Brennan.
North Coast Academy of Sport athlete of the year Kate Brennan.

Kate?s Academy award



SAFETY Beach swimmer, Kate Brennan, was named North Coast Academy of Sport athlete of the year at the annual awards held in Tweed Heads on Saturday night.

Guest speaker at the awards was Olympic sprint canoeist, David Rhodes, who was an NCAS track and field athlete in 1992, and is the first known NCAS athlete to compete at an Olympic Games.

A student at John Paul College in Coffs Harbour, Kate's Brennan's highlights for 2004 as a 13 year old were outstanding.

They included winning five national titles at the 2004 Australian Age Swimming Championships held in Perth last April.

Kate won gold in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle, and the 100m and 200m backstroke and also won bronze in the 200m individual medley.

In the 13 years division of NSW State Age Championships held in January last year, Kate won five gold medals in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle, and the 100m and 200m backstroke.

She also took home silver in the 200m individual medley and bronze in the 400m freestyle.

Not surprisingly, Kate's dominance last summer saw her selected in two national teams, namely the 2004 Trans Tasman Team and 2005 Australian Youth Olympics Team.

She also gained two state squad selections in the 2004 Inaugural State of Origin Team and the NSW New Zealand Touring team, the latter of which saw her win five New Zealand Age championships.

Last August at the Queensland State Short Course Championships, Kate won all six events on her race card, and set five Queensland All Comers records.

A member of the Woolgoolga Country Club swim school, Kate has been coached by Phil Benoit since her parents brought her to learn to swim classes when she was just four years of age.

Benoit, has been a NCAS satellite swim coach since Kate entered the NCAS squad in 2002, and was delighted to learn of Kate winning the Academy's highest award."I attribute Kate's success to her superb mental toughness which allows her to focus on the big picture and work through any smaller difficulties that may confront her," Benoit said.

"Her maturity and focus is remarkable for such a young athlete.

"Kate is not physically superior to her competitors, but she does possess a mental willingness to work hard and handle tough training phases without complaint.

"She knows that personal excellence requires extending her comfort boundaries. Her maturity allows her to constantly redefine new levels in her ability.

"As a regional coach, and with Kate's success, together we are constantly learning what works best.

"The feedback that Kate provides me at training is excellent, and together we monitor and adjust her program as required."

As well as swimming, the Academy Awards recognised the high performances of athletes from its 11 other sports.

Other awards presented to Mid North Coast athletes were:

- Rowing 2003-04, encouragement award, Ashleigh Peppernell, Arrawarra Beach.

- Rugby 2003-04, most outstanding, Duncan Chubb, Sapphire.

- Rugby 2003-04, most improved, Luke Strother, Sawtell.

- Sailing 2003-04, encouragement award, Melanie Egan, Middle Boambee.

- Soccer 2003-04, most outstanding male, Rory Goddard, Sawtell.

- Soccer 2003-04, most outstanding female, Laura Hall, Coffs Harbour.

- Soccer 2003-04, most improved female, Carly Young, Valla.

- Soccer 2003-04, encouragement award male, Tim Jackson, Corindi Beach.

- Surf Life Saving 2003-04, most outstanding, Courtney Hancock, Sawtell.

- Swimming 2003-04, most outstanding, Kate Brennan, Safety Beach.

- 2004 Chairman's encouragement award, Ashleigh Peppernell, Arrawarra Beach.



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