Former rowing coach/official and Castle Hill OAM recipient Don Roberts has a confession.
‘‘I would go back to coaching tomorrow if I could,’’ he said.
‘‘But I’m 80 now, so it would be hard to be jumping in and out of the boat.
He took up the sport as a coxswain in 1947 and realised he was better suited to coaching.
‘‘I did the best I could but I was an ordinary rower,’’ Mr Roberts said.
He was a rowing coach and official for five decades until he retired 18 months ago.
Rowing NSW roles included board member, race official and team manager.
He was on the organising committee for the Kings Cup Regatta in the 1960s and 70s and the Riverview Gold Cup Regatta for 11 years until 2006.
Most of Mr Roberts’ 43 years as a schools rowing coach was at Saint Ignatius’ College, Riverview, where he coached three teams to Australia Schoolboys championship titles.
He was a 2000 Sydney Olympics volunteer and awarded the Australian Sports medal that year.
The OAM was a nice surprise for Mr Roberts.
‘‘It’s recognition for the hard work I’ve put in and time away from home,’’ he said.
‘‘Every Saturday morning for many years was taken up with rowing. Both of my sons rowed.’’
One of his former prodigies is world champion quad skull and 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Dan Noonan, who has since started coaching rowing at Saint Ignatius’ College, Riverview.