Nicholas ‘Nick’ Purnell is a rower and Olympian who was awarded a Scholarship within the 2011 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program, he was paired with Athlete Member Peter Antonie OAM as his Mentor.
Nick was born in St Leonards, New South Wales, in 1990 and began rowing competitively at Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore School) in Sydney. With younger brother Alex, Nick won many races as a junior and progressed to Sydney University Boat Club, where he trained under the guidance of coaches Ian Wright, Mark Prater and Andre Russell.
Nick confirmed his potential with a bronze medal at the U23 World Championships in 2010, and soon earned a scholarship from Rowing Australia High Performance and a place at the Australian Institute of Sport, where he was coached by SAHOF Member Noel Donaldson from 2011.
Between 2010 and 2013, Nick participated in multiple World Rowing Cup events at U23 and senior level, he won numerous bronze medals in different boats. He also won more bronze medals at the World Rowing Championships in 2011.
Nick took extended leave from rowing before returning in 2017 at the Reinhold Batschi National Training Centre. He reached the podium yet again, with silver medals at the World Cup and the World Championships in 2018, and multiple gold medals at World Cup events in 2019. His return to form was rewarded with selection in the Australian team at the Tokyo Olympic Games, where he finished 6th in the Men’s 8.
Honours & Achievements
- 2010: World Rowing Cup 2 – gold medal, M4
- 2010: World Rowing Cup 3 – silver medal, M8
- 2010: World Rowing U23 Championships – bronze medal, BM4
- 2010: World Rowing Championships – bronze medal, M8+
- 2011: World Rowing Championships – bronze medal, M4-
- 2011: Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship Holder
- 2012: World Rowing Cup 3 – silver medal, M8+
- 2013: World Rowing Cup 1 – bronze medal, M4X
- 2018: World Rowing Cup 3 – silver medal, M8+
- 2018: World Rowing Championships – silver medal, M8+
- 2019: World Rowing Cup 2 – gold medal, M4-
- 2019: World rowing Cup 3 – gold medal, M4-
- 2020: World Rowing Cup 2 – gold medal, M4-