“My first love was AFL, grew up watching it and started playing as soon as I was old enough to,” recalled Declan.
He started little athletics aged 12 “as it was something different and challenging”. He preferred the sprints and jumping events. “At school meet Kym Simons (Adelaide PV coach) was watching my long jump and saw something that impressed him. He approached wanting me to try pole vault.” Aged 16, he represented Australia at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games where he placed second in the B final, but 10th overall with a best vault of 4.80m in the qualifying round.
Kym had coached Declan to become a junior international. “I was grateful for everything he did for me.” Declan then relocated to Perth and before he departed the junior ranks, he had reached an impressive PB of 5.40m. In 2018 he compiled an impressive season. A PB of 5.55m (number eight Australian all-time) and four vaults over his previous best. His second place at the nationals assisted him to selection for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
He has currently deferred any tertiary studies. His hobbies are surfing, exploring and traveling.