Kat Copeland MBE, who won a memorable gold at London 2012, has announced her retirement from international rowing having competed for Great Britain for over 11 years.
Copeland, who is a graduate of British Rowing’s World Class Start programme based out of Tees RC, has represented Team GB at two Olympic Games, Rio 2016 and London 2012, where she won gold in front of a home crowd alongside her lightweight double sculls partner Sophie Hosking.
Since 2007, she has raced and won gold for Great Britain at every level – junior, U23 and senior – representing her country on four occasions at senior European and World Championships.
Reflecting on her time with the GB Rowing Team, Copeland said: “I have absolutely loved my time with the GB Rowing Team. To be able to wake up and train every day, travel abroad and race internationally has been a dream come true.
“My favourite parts have been everything from big to small. From winning a gold medal at a home Olympics [London 2012] and making friends that will last me a lifetime, to the day-to-day bits I’ll miss; rowing in my single along the Tees with my boat running well and feeling on top of the world, or feeling like a hero when you’ve done a PB in the gym.
“I honestly can’t thank everyone enough who has helped me on my journey, I couldn’t have achieved any of it on my own and I will be forever grateful.
“I can’t wait to watch the team continue to grow and succeed, and I’ll be backing everyone at Tokyo 2020!”
Brendan Purcell, British Rowing Director of Performance said: “Kat has been an incredible athlete and ambassador for rowing for more than a decade. Her drive and commitment to the sport she loves is second to none, demonstrated by the success she has been able to achieve over the years. Kat’s big smile will be missed. We wish her all the best for the next chapter.”
Having laid down her international oars for the last time, Copeland plans to take the next few months to complete her undergraduate degree in English and to work out her next steps. She added: “I would love to continue working in the sport and wellness sector.
“I’ve always been passionate about promoting women’s sport and encouraging women to take up or continue exercising as they get older, so my aim is to find a role that can incorporate this.”
Copeland also plans on keeping active with a few sporting challenges in 2019, including cycling the Scotland 500 with her dad in May.