Demetri Catrakilis needed a mental and emotional change when he decided to announce his retirement from rugby.
Catrakilis, who last played for the Kings in the PRO14, last week confirmed on his social media channels that he had quit rugby effective immediately.
The two-time Currie Cup winner with Western Province spoke to Angus Opperman and during the conversation outlined his reasons for retirement.
‘I guess I felt like it was time for me to make a bit of a change,’ Catrakilis said. ‘That is the honest truth. My body’s fine and it is not because of injuries. I know a lot of people are asking if it is because of injuries. It has nothing to do with my physical being.
‘Honestly, physically I feel like I am the best I have ever been in my career. I kicked better than what I have ever kicked. I am passing better than what I have ever passed. I understand the game better than what I ever have. I am fit and strong. So, it isn’t my physical being.
‘I just feel like I needed a bit of a change. I needed it mentally and emotionally. We as rugby players go through a lot of emotional feelings throughout the season, throughout a week and even sometimes throughout one day. I have been going through it for a while and I just feel like for the time being I wanted that change and I can do it. So I decided to do it and see what’s next in my life.’
Catrakilis added that he felt rugby was no longer challenging him as much as he wanted and that he was looking forward to going into his family’s insurance business.
‘I am definitely going to stay in rugby as much as I can. I want to give back as much as I can to kids and teens, wherever I can but it will be part time. What I am going to go emotionally into is my family business, which my parents started 14 years ago and my brothers and sister are hounding me to get involved with. It is an insurance brokerage – short-term insurance – so I will be studying insurance now for the next few years.
‘I think with will be a nice change. It will bring completely different challenges. I feel like rugby brought a lot of challenges at the beginning of my career. But maybe at the end of my career, I wasn’t getting challenged as much as I had hoped. I always said that once it stopped challenging me and I stopped growing as much as I wanted to, I would stop. So that prompted it. I love the game of rugby and am still in love with it to this day. I just feel like for the time being, I don’t want to play and I am not going to while I don’t want to.
‘I am grateful for everything that I experienced. I am so happy for the friends that I encountered and I can’t wait to go and watch them at the stadium and have contact with them. I will definitely stay in the sport, it is still for my first love for now.’
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