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Caleb Shepherd Announces Retirement

  • 17 Sep 21

After an impressive career across 15 years, Olympic silver medallist and current World Best Time holder (men’s coxed pair), Caleb Shepherd has announced his retirement from rowing.

Domestically, Caleb has achieved 8 national premier titles, and internationally is one of New Zealand’s most successful coxswains with World Championship titles across three boat classes (women’s 8+, men’s 2+, under 23 men’s 8+).

Caleb first represented New Zealand in 2010 as coxswain of the Junior men’s coxed four. The following year he retained his seat in the Junior crew and coxed the four to a World Junior Rowing Championships silver medal. From here Caleb never looked back, continuing on to the New Zealand under 23 team with back-to-back Under 23 World Championship titles in the men’s 8+ in 2013 and 2014.

Following impressive under 23 campaigns, Caleb joined the New Zealand elite team for the 2014 World Rowing Championships where he coxed the men’s pair to a World Championship title and world best time.

More recently, Caleb has been an integral part of the Rowing NZ women’s sweep squad. He was first named as coxswain for the women’s 8+ in 2019 and steered the crew to gold at the 2019 World Rowing Championships, creating NZ history as the first ever women’s 8+ to be crowned world champions. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Caleb led the women’s 8+ to a silver medal in another history making moment as the first Kiwi women’s 8+ to win an Olympic medal.

“To my Black Eight squad, the team we have built over the past three years is something I will always cherish and share the stories and lessons with those around me. We created history, but the journey and the team is what I will always appreciate the most.”

Caleb is stepping away from the sport to fulfil another passion – teaching. He is currently completing a Post Grad Diploma in Teaching having finished his Masters in English in 2020, both through University of Waikato. Caleb has accepted a position at Hamilton Boys’ High School for 2022 in the English department.

“To my friends and whānau, thank you for your unwavering care and support of me chasing my Olympic dreams – I quite literally could not have done any of this without you.”

Rowing NZ would like to congratulate Caleb on an outstanding rowing career. The hard work done and support given to the entire organisation over the last 10 years has been invaluable.