North Melbourne club doctor, Peter Baquie, has announced his retirement from elite sport after a distinguished 26-year career.
“Pete has been around a long time and his career in elite sport has been incredible,” North GM football Brady Rawlings said.
“His knowledge and experience set him apart, and his compassion, understanding and work ethic have made him a valued member of the North Melbourne family for the past six years.
“We are incredibly sad to see him go, but wish him all the best in what will be a well-deserved retirement with his wife, children and grandchildren.”
Baquie has combined sport and exercise medicine at Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre with stints as the team physician with the Olympic men’shockey team the Kookaburras, Melbourne Storm, Hawthorn, Collingwood and North Melbourne.
As a 21-year-old Baquie spent time in Papua New Guinea as a trainee doctor treating villagers for various things such as tetanus, snake bites and malaria.
Upon his return to Australia, he travelled to Gippsland and became the local GP in the town of Foster for the next decade.
In 1992, Baquie and his family returned to Melbourne and he decided to switch to sports medicine. Through working at Olympic Park, he made contactsthat led him to a tour of Europe with an Australian junior basketball team.
In 1997, he was the reserve team doctor with Carlton and later that year stepped into the role as Australian hockey team doctor. He served seven years with the Kookaburras and was part of the team that clinched the gold medal in 2004 in Athens.
Baquie was also head doctor for the Melbourne Storm before joining Hawthorn at the end of 2004.
While working with Alastair Clarkson and his team in 2006, he also became the head doctor of the Australian Olympic team ahead of the Beijing games. Another career highlight came in 2008 when he completed his Olympics’ campaign and the Hawks won the AFL premiership.
Baquie continued with the Olympics in 2012 in London and the following year he joined Collingwood until 2014 when he crossed to Arden Street to join the Kangaroos.
“I knew it was the right time to go,” Baquie told players and staff.
“When I took up sports medicine my wife said to me, “Live your dream, but just promise me you won’t get involved with AFL.” Six months later a job at Carlton came up.
“It wasn’t until I sent an email to Brady and spoke to him that I knew it was the right time and I’m happy … or as happy as one can be when you leave a group with which you’ve had such a fond and special alignment with over the last six years.”