Quick Facts

Vision Impairment – Bests macular dystrophy
How acquired
Congenital with onset at 3 years
Date of Birth
July 5, 1999
Greensborough, VIC
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia

Kurt Fearnley and Craig Mottram

Career Highlights

Qualifying for the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships

Greatest Moment

Cathy Freeman winning gold in the 400m final at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney


Diamond Valley young gun, Jaryd Clifford made his debut in the green and gold at the 2015 IPC World Championships in Doha, Qatar and has since dedicated his time to ensure he makes the 2016 Australian Paralympic Team.

Jaryd first began losing his eye sight at the age of three, when it was detected he had early on-set viteliform macular degeneration, a genetic condition which affects a person’s central vision.

He first began long distance running at school, and quickly rose the ranks to compete at the 2012 Australian National Championships against able-bodied kids his age. While he placed 61st, he was incredibly proud of his result as he was one of a handful of participants that did not have a coach, nor had he started training properly. Knowing he could rapidly improve, Jaryd enlisted into Little Athletics for two seasons before joining the Diamond Valley senior athletics club, where he is now coached by Max Balchin.

At the 2015 World Championships, Jaryd Clifford competed in the 5,000 metre event, placing seventh in the final with a time of 15:55.02. In Rio, he’ll be looking to improve on his time and place, again.

When training for the Paralympic Games, Jaryd turns to 2016 Australian Paralympic co-captain Kurt Fearnley for inspiration. He looks to Kurt for his never-give-up approach, and he also admires Craig Mottram, and hopes to follow in the Olympian’s footsteps.

In 10 years time, Jaryd hopes to be a Paralympic gold medallist, and be working in radio, advocating for the recognition of Para-sport and for people with disabilities. Outside of running, Jaryd is also a keen writer, and enjoys blogging about his experiences competing on the world stage.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Athletics Disciplines: 1500m Classification: T12
  • Sport: Athletics Disciplines: 5000m Classification: T12