#Commonwealth Games; Shara Romer first female coach named on an Australian Commonwealth Games boxing team

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Mother-of-two Shara Romer has broken through the male dominated sport of boxing to be the first female coach named on an Australian Commonwealth Games boxing team.

Mrs Romer, 39, will join head coach Kevin Smith’s team at the Gold Coast games starting on April 4.

“It has been a hard slog, it really has,’’ Mrs Romer said.

“There have been a lot of sacrifices as a mum and a parent.

“There are times when I have missed birthdays. There are a lot of hard choices that I had to make to get to where I am today.’’

Her journey toward the upper echelon of international coaching started around a decade ago when she took up boxing as a way to keep fit after injuring her ankles and legs.

“I thought I have do to something,’’ she recalled.

She had a few boxing bouts, but decided her contribution to the sport would be as a coach.

“I started off taking fitness classes and then started building boxing teams — just for females,’’ she said. “At one stage I was carrying nine female boxers.’’

Fuelled by a burning desire not to let gender get in her way to the top, Mrs Romer started progressing through the ranks.

“Right from the start I thought if I was going to do something, I wanted to be the best at it,’’ she said.

“I wanted to represent Australia as a coach.

“In boxing, there was not a lot of women involved, and that includes the athletes.

“At one stage I was the only woman involved in the coaching aspect.’’

Mrs Romer had to be like a chameleon and blend in with her surrounds because she dared not stand out in boxing and ruffle feathers in the traditionally all-male bastion sport.

“I was down with the men but still being a woman – you had to blend in, but you could not stand out too much,’’ Mrs Romer said.

But her talent and desire could not be suppressed.

In 2016 she was taken to the Rio Olympics by head coach Kevin Smith as a support coach.

“They (support coaches) do everything with the team but you stay outside the village, coming to and from,’’ said Mrs Romer, who co-owns Nathan business, The Boxing Shop.

Come April, she will be in the Commonwealth Games’ village lock, stock and barrel, a fully fledged, 100 per cent accredited coach with the Australian boxing team.

“It is a big thing, being fully in the team, especially on home soil,’’ she said.

It is a “big thing” for her family as well.

When her 10-year-old son Rocco heard the news his mum was on the Australian boxing team, he said: “I am so proud you have made it.’’Mrs Romer added: “Hearing him say that is one of the best things you can hear because you have sacrificed some of their life for it.’’She praised her mother, Janet, for her support of her children Rocco and Amira, aged seven, when she was away at interstate camps proving herself.“Doing the time, being away from my family, has been the hardest,’’ Mrs Romer said.“There has been a lot of hard work and effort to get there.’’
Story first appeared in: couriermail.com.au
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