Brown fol­lows an hon­ourable line

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT -

ou’re a long time re­tired’’ and ‘‘ What about the World Cup?’’ were two strong mes­sages some foot­ball fans de­liv­ered to All White Tim Brown af­ter he an­nounced he was off to study in Eng­land.

Brown, 31, has in­di­cated that when the Phoenix’s run in the A-league fi­nals ends, he will head to ei­ther the London School of Eco­nom­ics or Cam­bridge Univer­sity to study for a mas­ters de­gree in man­age­ment.

Al­ready Brown, a Welling­ton Col­lege old boy, has stud­ied at the Univer­sity of Cincin­nati and he seems poised to make a big im­pres­sion in the world of com­merce.

He would have played at the 2010 World Cup but for in­jury, and has al­ways been one of the Phoenix’s most hon­est toil­ers.

To judge by the re­ac­tion of some sports-mad New Zealan­ders, you’d think he’d an­nounced he was hav­ing a leg chopped off.

It’s not as if plenty of New Zealand sports stars haven’t trav­elled over­seas in search of ex­tra aca­demic qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

Ge­orge Aitken, the All Blacks cap­tain against the Spring­boks in 1921, was a Rhodes Scholar in 1922. He was fol­lowed decades later by All Blacks Chris Laid­law (1968) and David Kirk (1985).

Two run­ning greats, Arthur Por­ritt and Jack Love­lock, were Rhodes Schol­ars.

Por­ritt headed to Ox­ford Univer­sity in 1923 and the fol­low­ing year won a bronze medal in the Char­i­ots of Fire Olympic sprint final in Paris.

Love­lock left in 1931 and went on to set world records over the mile and 1500m and to win a fa­mous Olympic gold medal in the 1500m at Ber­lin in 1936.

The down­side was that these two great New Zealan­ders never re­turned home to live, though Por­ritt had a spell as Gov­er­nor­Gen­eral from 1967 till 1972.

Sel­wyn Mais­ter, an Olympic hockey gold medal­list in 1976, had been a Rhodes Scholar in 1969.

In 1988 All White Ceri Evans fol­lowed the well-trod­den path to Ox­ford, study­ing ex­per­i­men­tal psy­chol­ogy.

It’s not just Ox­ford Univer­sity, though.

Peter Snell waited un­til af­ter his run­ning ca­reer was over be­fore go­ing to the United States, where he gained a BSC in hu­man per­for­mance at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, a PHD in ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­ogy at Washington State Univer­sity and be­came an as­so­ci­ate pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Texas.

All Black cap­tain Wil­son Whin­eray took a year off rugby to gain an MBA from Har­vard Univer­sity and An­thony Mosse com­bined swim­ming and study spec­tac­u­larly well in the 1980s and 90s.

He won an Olympic medal in 1988, grad­u­ated from Stan­ford with a BA (Hons) in 1989 and earned an MBA there a few years later. More re­cently, 1988 Olympic row­ing medal­list Ge­orge Bridge­wa­ter re­tired so he could study for an MBA at Ox­ford Univer­sity.

And An­ton Oliver has used his post- All Black years in­dus­tri­ously, read­ing for an MSC in bio­di­ver­sity, en­vi­ron­ment and man­age­ment at Ox­ford.

These and other cham­pion sports­men have not been con­tent to rest on the lau­rels they earned on the sports field.

They should be our he­roes, not the sports stars who cash in on past glo­ries by en­dors­ing prod­ucts they know lit­tle about or rush into me­dia po­si­tions when they have lit­tle to say and don’t know how to any­way.

Tim Brown is fol­low­ing an hon­ourable line, and I salute him.

Us­ing his head: Tim Brown, right, who is for­sak­ing pro­fes­sional foot­ball for stud­ies.

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