Hornsey and Patrick retire
24 October 2014
ROWING: Australia Rowing Team member and London 2012 silver medal-winning athlete, Kate Hornsey, has formally announced her retirement from rowing. Joining Hornsey in announcing her retirement is Australian Rowing Team coxswain, Elizabeth Patrick.
The 33-year-old Hornsey, who with Sarah Tait won silver in London 2012 in the women’s coxless pair, competed most recently in the Australian Women’s Eight that raced at the 2014 World Rowing Championships but has made the decision to retire from the sport.
“I have been a part of the senior Australian Rowing Team for a decade and the sport will always be one that I care very deeply for but sadly the time has come for me to retire.
“It became a decision for me as to whether I wanted to continue rowing and push for a place in Rio or whether to look to my future beyond rowing. The decision was by no means an easy one but I feel it is the right one for me and my family."
Hornsey won numerous accolades in her time with the Australian Rowing Team, including two gold medals in the 2005 World Rowing Championships, in the Women’s Coxless Four and the Women’s Eight, a time she describes as still one of her most treasured moments.
“I would have to say winning gold in the eight and the four at the 2005 World Rowing Championships was one of my career highlights, I had the time of my life with that group of girls and then to follow that up with winning silver in 2012 with Sarah was something else.
“The 2012 season had been a challenging one, but also a highly rewarding one. Sarah and I had something really special and our love of racing and dogged determination was what got us that silver medal. It was a great season with a great friend and something I will never forget and is easily my greatest highlight along with the 2005 World Rowing Championships.”
Born in Tasmania, Hornsey represented Australia in two Olympic Games, Beijing in 2008 where she competed in the Women’s Eight alongside Tait and Patrick, and then of course in 2012. She originally rowed out of New Norfolk Rowing Club, of which she is now a life member, as well as The Friends’ School Boat Club in Tasmania and Mercantile Rowing Club in Melbourne.
She offered her gratitude to a number of people for her rowing success: “I have to thank so many people for their support and encouragement over the years including my family, friends and coaches Cliff Hutton, the late Roger Drummond and of course Bill Tait who coached Sarah and I to our Olympic medal.
“I also have to thank the late Sam Le Compte and Tasmanian Institute of Sport for seeing something in me and giving me the opportunity to make it happen. I could not have represented my country without the TIS and of course the Victorian Institute of Sport who welcomed me into their group when I relocated to Melbourne in 2009.
“Finally, I would like to thank Rowing Australia and all those involved in the Australian Rowing Team over the last decade for their support and especially to all the girls I raced with a thousand times over the years. I could not have made it through the years without the friendship and laughter you all gave me.”
Joining Hornsey in retiring this year is coxswain Lizzy Patrick, who coxed Australia’s women’s eight in both the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2012 London Olympic Games. The 29-year-old from Melbourne also won gold in 2005 when she coxed Hornsey and the women’s eight to glory in the World Rowing Championships.
“I have been a part of the Australian Rowing Team, like Kate, for nearly a decade and after the World Rowing Championships this year I made the decision to turn my focus to my other passion, osteopathy. Having recently qualified as an osteopath, I would now like to make this my full-time career, which means retiring from international competition.
“I will of course continue to take an active interest in the sport and offer any guidance I can to coxswains at schools and clubs. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my family and friends, my club MUBC, Rowing Australia and my team mates for all their support over the years. I feel so fortunate to have met so many great friends and had many laughs along the way.
“A special mention should go to my coaches, particularly Bill Tait and Chris O’Brien, whose support and advice through the Victorian Institute of Sport has been invaluable over the years.”
Rowing Australia’s High Performance Director, Chris O’Brien, said: “Both Kate and Lizzy have represented Australia with distinction and their presence on the team will be missed by both coaches and team-mates alike.
“We wish Kate and Lizzy all the best with their future careers outside of the sport and I am sure they will continue to support the Australian Rowing Team with as much vigour as they represented it over the last 10 years.”