Canberra rower Angus Moore has decided to draw his tremendous rowing career to a close after more than a decade competing on the world stage as part of the Australian national team.
Since 2009, Moore has represented his country at Junior, Under-23 and Senior World Rowing Championships as well as 10 World Rowing Cups – picking up a plethora of medals along the way.
Moore told Canberra Weekly that prior to making the announcement he’d spent 12 months considering his position in the team and his desire to keep rowing.
“As you get a bit older you realise you put a lot of things in your life on hold to pursue an elite sporting career,” he said.
“I’m ready to pursue other areas in my life, and rowing has been inhibiting my ability to push on with those.”
Moore will now focus on his journalism degree, which he hopes to have completed by May next year.
Having most recently represented Australia at the 2019 World Rowing Championships, Moore raced in the Men’s Eight that finished fourth, qualifying the boat for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
He said the postponement of the Games and the COVID-19 lockdown restricting his capacity to train helped him make the call.
“For me the idea of doing another 12 months wasn’t feasible, I made the decision three or four months ago and haven’t looked back since.”
The 27-year-old said the response he’s received since making the announcement has been overwhelmingly supportive, with Rowing Australia aiding him in his transition out of elite sport.
“A lot of my close friends on the team could see it coming,” he said.
“I felt a little bit bad for my parents as they had invested a lot in my rowing … I felt I owed it to them, but also owed it to them to be true to myself.
“A couple of people trying to make sure I had made the right decision, once I was able to sit down with those individuals, they understood a lot of thought had gone into it,” he said.
While he’s departing the national team set-up, Moore will continue to be involved with the sport by taking up a coaching role at Sydney’s St Ignatius’ College.
“I’m not completely removing myself from the sport, given that’s where a lot of my expertise in life lies it doesn’t make sense to,” he said.
Moore first started rowing at Canberra Grammar School back in 2005, and said he only initially got into it because his dad had rowed for Canberra Grammar and his grandfather was heavily involved with the Canberra Rowing Club.
“I didn’t like it at first. I thought it was hot, there’s lots of flies and it’s hard. I was way more into my rugby union,” he said.
“Over time I started to enjoy it more, then in year 10 I was lucky enough to be recruited by Gordon Marcks at ACTAS Rowing … the rest was history after that.
“If I hadn’t had the opportunity at school it wouldn’t have happened. I wouldn’t have gone to a club and picked it up,” he said.
With a variety of national rowing programs and sporting bodies based in Canberra, growing up here also presented Moore with opportunities on the water that otherwise wouldn’t have been afforded to him.
“It was massive,” he said. “The ACT, because it such a small community the Academy of Sport had the spots for rowers. In a lot of other states because of the higher population it’s harder for younger guys to make their way in.”
Rising the ranks in Canberra even afforded Moore numerous chances to row alongside some of Australia’s best when he was still in school.
“It was muck up night for year 12 and I could only go out till 9 or 10pm and have one or two beers because I’d been called up to row with the Australian eight the next morning,” he said.
Of all the accolades, Moore ranked winning the famed Grand Challenge Cup at the 2018 Henley Royal Regatta as part of an all-Australian crew and winning three Kings Cups in a row for NSW his highest honours.
“I look back at 16-year-old Angus, and I consider myself very lucky as all that young guy wanted to do was what I’ve been lucky enough to do for the last five years,” Moore said.
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