Where are they now – Anthony Edwards (SPC 1985-90)
April 22, 2020
The College recently reconnected with Anthony Edwards (SPC 1985-90), who was a part of one of our most celebrated moments in SPC history as a member of the winning SPC Head of the Lake crew in 1990, effectively changing the landscape for rowing at SPC. Anthony went on to row in five Olympic Games and win three Olympic medals. He is now working for the Cancer Council Tasmania as the state manager for Relay For Life. The coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact on their events in 2020, but Anthony remains totally committed to the cause. As he says “cancer doesn’t care about Covid-19!”
Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?
Rowing was always my passion. My rowing experience at St Patrick’s motivated me to pursue my sporting goals to the highest level. I have been extremely fortunate to compete internationally for 20 years, spanning five Olympic Games from 1996-2012, winning three Olympic medals. After losing my father and also my Olympic rowing coach Sam (I considered my mentor) in 2005 I was devastated and needed to change something. I moved to Tasmania with my wife Felicity and young family where I have lived since. After retiring from rowing, I became President of the Tasmanian Olympic Council, which I hold to this day. I am also a State Event Manager for Cancer Council Tasmania managing the Relay For Life program.
How is the coronavirus presently affecting your work, industry and lifestyle?
I work for Cancer Council Tasmania as the State Manager for Relay For Life. The decision to cancel all our events in 2020 was enormous and knew it would effect thousands of people in so many ways. This decision ultimately impacted our organisation, yet we continue to provide cancer support programs across Tasmania during this difficult period of time. Cancer doesn’t care about Covid-19!! I have also instigated a Relay For Life event in Antarctica and it is going ahead next month – no coronavirus down there!! So that’s exciting. Since then, I have moved on to a rowing/sports position with The Friends school in Hobart Tasmania. I guess I am just returning to my big passion of sport/rowing really!
What are your fondest memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?
There is no doubt the 1990 Head of the Lake victory is my fondest. It’s now 30 years since that day, yet I always remember it (April 7th 1990) along with the crew (Dan Hayter, Aaron McInerney, Bob Calnon, Danny Morgan and coach Kevin O’Brien). I look back at that occasion and recall the enormity of what it meant for the school. That day changed the perception of the rowing program. I continue to take interest in every Head of the Lake – there have been many victories since! The rowing program is a strength to the school to foster good people through sport.
Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?
Br Breach was a hard man to agitate, you never wanted to let him down. I let him down once and I have never forgotten it. To this day, I stand by my word and I never let a person down.
How has your education shaped your professional life?
I learned many life skills that put me in a good position beyond St Patrick’s. I recall the cadets program, being a school sports leader and understanding what it meant. The greatest assets we have are good communication and good people skills which I am grateful for my education at St Patrick’s.
In elite sport you need to be physically and technically capable, yet you need a mental ability that not only drives you, but brings others along
with your passion to succeed. My experiences across all forms of sports at St Pat’s shaped this in me – to be the best I could be.
How has your time at SPC shaped your personal values and your family life?
Our teenage years are turbulent times. I commend the teachers who work hard in the classroom to develop and nurture students into young men. Those teachers (and coaches) shaped me to be the person I am today. I now pass these values onto my own children. I continue to coach rowing crews – my main focus is to make them better people through the sport of rowing.
If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?
This is your time to shine. This is your time to be the best you can be. The opportunities to develop and shape you to be the greatest image of yourself are presented to you every school day – soak it up and take every opportunity you are given.
To read more about one of the most celebrated moments in our history, the 1990 Head of the Lake, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, we invited Anthony to send a video to our rowing crews in the lead-up to this year’s Head of the Lake event. To read more and watch Anthony give the crews some words of encouragement, please click here