I first heard about Kevin Wall when I was interviewing another rowing legend, also called Kevin: Kevin O'Brien, father of current Australian national performance director Chris O'Brien.
"Are you still coaching?" I asked, wondering if, at 83, O'Brien senior had slowed down a little from the cantankerous bugger I'd known as a teenager. Knowing a few other 83-year-old rowing legends (Irvine, Salisbury), I suspected probably not.
"Yes, I'm coaching a 41-year-old woman who who has just been selected to go to Boston for para-rowing. She's in a crew with an Irish bloke who's rowing out in Perth - Kevin Wall - perhaps you've heard of him?"
I regretfully answered that I had not. Of course, that was about to change for me, and for everyone else at WARC.
Kevin joined WARC about a month ago from Bunbury where he had been rowing in 2011 and preparing for a chance at London Paralympic Games. This yarn suggests our man missed out by the narrowest of margins on that chance to represent his native Ireland. He's now been picked up in an Australian team for the Boston Head of the Charles with Balmain Rowing Club, which could put him the running for Rio - this time in the green and gold.
Of course, he won't be the only part of the WARC family in Boston, Kev's doubles partner from Bunbury Peter Klemm will be there with Pete Panizza, past President Sten Campbell and Billl Hutton.
(This article also tells how Kevin rescued a father and son in a dangerous capsized boat incident. It would seem he's a handy man to have around.)
From my perspective as President, Kevin is the sorta bloke you pray to recruit.
- He's Irish - and we've hosted a whole bunch of those.
- He's picked up a few good wins.
- He's handy with a paintball rifle (or so I'm told), and
- He's driven to row at the highest level.
With that in mind, we'll be looking to keep you in the loop on Kev's campaign to Boston - and ultimately Rio.