Captain Of Passion, Humility & Selflessness: Kennedy Simon's Rise In Rugby

Captain Of Passion, Humility & Selflessness: Kennedy Simon's Rise In Rugby

A wedding to plan and multiple rugby teams to lead, Kennedy Simon must feel the pressure. Yet, the 27-year-old Black Ferns co-captain, Chiefs Manawa captain, and MyTreat brand ambassador looks relaxed on a couch at Chiefs HQ in the Waikato and ready for anything, including a round of rapid-fire questions.

But in this following interview, we take things a bit slower to unearth what really matters in the life of this young female leader, exploring her journey as a woman breaking barriers in the world of rugby and her commitment to promoting self-care and mental wellness.

How's the wedding planning coming along?
I think I've got everything except a day and the venue. So that's how it's coming along. But it's good. Solly [Solomone Tukuafu, who is also a rugby star] is actually down South at the moment. So, yeah, when our calendars align, I think it'll happen.

What's the biggest challenge as a woman in sports?
Having to find time to juggle, being with kids [if you’re a mum], and also finding babysitter's for when we have trainings and games. But in my [Chiefs Manawa] team, they manage that really well. They've got such a great support system, a big village that helps them achieve everything.

What's the best thing about being a woman in sports?
Again, the support that we have for each other. The fan engagement. I've got nieces and nephews that I want to inspire. And then for mums, they've got little daughters that can watch them achieve all that they set their minds to, no matter what.

What's your favourite way to celebrate a win?
I'm really boring. I just go home, enjoy a nice meal. If Solly is around, just hang out, watch a movie.

How do you deal with losing?
Yeah, it's never nice. Just lots of reflection. I like to watch the game back and just see where I could have had an edge or what I could have done differently. But at the end of the day, we are one team, so we all have to just come together and learn.

How do you maintain your energy levels during long training sessions?
You have to know what works for you. Some girls like to just sit in their own space and play on their phone or read a book. For me, I don't mind being in company of others and just chatting, but I also don't mind being by myself.

How are sports organisations promoting mental wellness among their athletes?
We have an organisation that supports our mums, whether that's bringing the children on the planes to hotels, to managing our sessions so that mums can go away, come in early and leave early. I think just having the kids around, like they come into our changing rooms on game day. We walked out with them last week, which shows that it's bigger than the game. We are offered with lots of support. We have a sports psychologist who does an amazing job. We've got an amazing management group and a huge group of girls that really just look after one another.

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