Quick Facts

How acquired
Intellectual Impairment
Date of Birth
May 25, 1995
Bruce, ACT
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia
Games Experience

Rio 2016


His coach Yuriy Vdovychenko

Career Highlights

Selection to represent Australia at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow


Joshua Alford was born in Canberra and has now returned to pursue a career in swimming at the Australian Institute of Sport.

He learned to swim when he was three-years-old but did not take it up competitively until 2014. Growing up in Cooma, Joshua also developed a passion for snowboarding, and the New South Wales snow fields have become his go-to holiday destination.

At the 2014 Australian Swimming Championships in Brisbane, Joshua set new personal bests in the 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle and 50m backstroke events, securing him five finals berths. In the 200m freestyle final Joshua recorded another personal best that was nearly six seconds under the qualifying time.

Joshua made his Australian Swim Team and Commonwealth Games debut when he was 18-years-old at the 2014 Glasgow Games. He competed in the 200m freestyle S14 heat and because there were only seven entrants, he progressed to the final and was awarded sixth place.

At the 2015 Australian Swimming Championships in Sydney, Joshua made waves in the 50m freestyle multi-class event when he won gold in 25.25 seconds. He also took home two silver medals and a bronze in the 100m, 400m and 200m freestyle finals.

Joshua was selected to represent Australia at the 2015 INAS Global Games in Guayaquil, Ecuador where he was awarded a gold medal in the 100m freestyle and a silver medal in the 50m freestyle finals.

Joshua continued this success at the 2016 Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide. There he was awarded a silver medal in the 100m freestyle and a bronze medal in the 50m freestyle multi-class and 200m freestyle finals. His impressive performance at the meet led to his selection for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.

At his Paralympic debut, Joshua competed in three events, finishing eighth in the final of the 100m backstroke, however did not progress to the finals in the 200m freestyle and the 200m individual medley.

Joshua trains at the Swimming Australia National Training Centre under a scholarship program led by Paralympic coach Yuriy Vdovychenko. He cites the champion coach as a role model and as one of the most influential people in his life, alongside his parents.

While he hopes to compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, outside of swimming Joshua would like to work towards a career in the police force training its canine unit.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 100m Backstroke Classification: S14
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 200m Freestyke Classification: S14
  • Sport: Swimming Disciplines: 200m Individual medley Classification: SM14