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Para Sport Talent Search

Tuesday, 7 August 2018 | Rob Cumbrae-Stewart



“I wasn’t very strong, and I struggled with the power exercises, but when it came to the beep test I seemed to be in my element. They told me that running was the sport I should do.” That was what a 12-year-old visually impaired Jaryd Clifford learnt after attending an Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) Para Sport Talent Search day. The rest is history as within a few years, while still a teenager, he would go on to compete at the senior World Para-Athletics Championships, Paralympics and make history as the first para-athlete to be selected in an Australian able-bodied team.

The APC is looking for the next Jaryd Clifford and will over the next few months conduct Para Sport Talent Search days throughout Australia. Dozens of Australia’s current Paralympians were identified through a talent identification day and have gone on to wear the green and gold.

Rio Paralympian and world para-athletics championships discus throw medallist, Guy Henly was keen on sport.

"I had always wanted to get into tennis. I'd played that for a long time but there is only wheelchair tennis at the Paralympics and that's not really my thing. So, I thought why not go to the talent search day and see what else I can try."

From there he linked up with the throws coaching duo Karyne Di Marco and Breanne Clement in Sydney. That was in 2010 and within a few years he was travelling the world competing in international competitions. In 2013, he made his international debut in France at the World Para-Athletics championships, placing third in the discus. Over the next few years he completed in global championships in Great Britain, Qatar and Brazil.

Aged 12, Tamsin Colley was sporty at school. She had attended the Education Department ‘come and try’ day, then decided to attend an APC talent search day. Athletics was identified as the preferred sport for her and she was invited to train under Hills Club coach Matt Rawlings.

“I remember her early on,” recalled Rawlings, “she was like a sponge - so keen to learn, improve and test herself.”

Colley’s determination was rewarded in August 2016, when she received a call up to the Australian Paralympic team for Rio at the age of just 14. She competed in the 200 metres, kicking off her international career which saw her travel to the World Junior Para-Athletics Championships in Switzerland last year and twice finish on the podium.

Do you know a person who may qualify for para-sport competition and would benefit from sport?

The APC Para Sport Talent Search program commences in Sydney on Sunday 12 August. For more information

For more information:


APC Para Sport Talent Search – dates and locations


Sunday 12 Aug
Sydney Olympic Park
Hall of Legends, Olympic Blvd


Saturday 18 Aug
11am – 3pm
Gold Coast Sport & Leisure Centre
Nerang-Broadbeach Rd, Carrara


Sunday 19 Aug
11am – 3pm
Brisbane Girls Grammar School Sports
Centre, Gregory Terrace, Brisbane


Sunday 9 Sept
10am – 2pm
Herb Graham Recreation Centre
38 Ashbury Crescent, Mirrabooka


Sunday 23 Sept
10am – 3pm
Palmerston Recreation Centre
11 The Blvd, Palmerston


Sunday 7 Oct
10am – 1pm
Moonah Sports Centre
17 Gormanston Rd, Moonah


Sunday 21 Oct
10am – 3pm
APC/Essendon FC Training Centre
275 Melrose Drive, Melbourne Airport


Sunday 18 Nov
11am – 3pm
AIS Sport Halls
Leverrier St, Bruce


Sunday 9 Dec
11am – 3pm
St Peters College Sports Centre
57 Hackney Road, Hackney

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