Adelaide co-captain Chelsea Randall has had a monopoly on the Most Courageous award, presented this year by MSC Signs. But a season-ending knee injury before the season began meant she was unable to extend her reign into a fourth-straight season. Instead, as she writes for aflplayers.com.au, she couldn’t be more chuffed to pass the baton onto a competitor she truly admires – Fremantle’s Kiara ‘Turbo’ Bowers.
I’m really quite fortunate that I played footy at state level with Kiara Bowers or Turbo for many years back in Western Australia before the AFLW competition started up.
Turbo’s a remarkable athlete and she’s been through a hell of a journey in terms of the setbacks and injuries she’s gone through, and it’s just great the rest of our AFL community can actually see what she’s capable of doing.
Her attack on the footy is second to none and she’s a ferocious athlete and she’s got incredible closing speed.
I can definitely say I have copped one or two of her hits or been smashed to the ground by her more than once.
The first time I met Turbo back at state level footy we’d just finished up an entire training session.
All of us were tired and she came up to us and said, ‘Does anyone want to run another 10 laps?’ (laughs). We’re all cooked and she’d just continue to go, go, go all the time, hence the nickname Turbo.
She’s a brave person and resembles the word courage. Not only on the field by how she plays, but off the field as well, through her resilience and through the previous injuries that she’s had.
You don’t necessarily have to be the best or try to do anything spectacular to be the most courageous player in the competition in my opinion, it’s really about attacking the footy and producing constant and relentless efforts that inspire others to follow.
Kiara Bowers is definitely that type of athlete who would do anything to win the footy for her team.
The most courageous award is based on your actions as a footballer and Turbo embodies being able to get her head over the footy, attack a contest and it doesn’t matter that she might be smaller than some of her opponents she comes up against.
She still goes full throttle and that’s exciting footy for everyone and anyone to watch. That’s what makes our game so unique and entertaining when you have players like Kiara attacking the footy and playing their role for the team.
Most importantly the word courage to me is not just your football actions on the field, but the way you interact with others and the stuff you do off the field. Having known her personally for many years, she really resembles what that means.
When she was announced as a marquee player for Fremantle in the first year of the AFLW competition, unfortunately it was only a short time after that she ruptured her ACL and had to undergo season-ending surgery and she never got the chance to play for Fremantle in that first year.
It’s a credit to her the way she’s been able to bounce back bigger, better, faster and stronger. In my eyes, she was a big reason as to why Fremantle was undefeated this season.
That’s really inspiring for me in particular going through that injury at the moment.
I’m so genuinely happy for you. Kiara’s the epitome of what the most courageous award means and congratulations to you Turbo. You’re an absolute star and I always hold you in high regard, mate.
Most Courageous, proudly presented by MSC Signs
Kiara Bowers, Fremantle – 76
Katie Loynes, Carlton – 73
Isabel Huntington, Western Bulldogs – 64