Quick Facts

Disability
Vision Impairment – Cone-rod dystrophy
Sport
Rowing
How acquired
Congenital
Date of Birth
December 22, 1986
Home
South Penrith, NSW
Occupation
Disability employment consultant
Started Competing
2010
First Competed for Australia
2014
Games Experience

Rio 2016

Heroes

Kim Crow

Career Highlights

Winning silver at the 2014 FISA World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Bio

Vision impaired Para-rower Kathleen Murdoch made history in 2016 when she combined with Brock Ingram, Davinia Lefroy, Jeremy McGrath and coxswain Jo Burnand in the mixed coxed four LTA to qualify Australia’s first ever boat in that class at a Paralympic Games.

Placing fourth in their heat and third in their repechage heat, the Australian team won their final to place sixth overall at Rio 2016.

Kathleen was four-years-old when she was diagnosed with cone-rod dystrophy and declared legally blind at 16.

Determined to find a sport suited to her condition, Kathleen first tried rowing at the suggestion of her dad, a former rower himself, and made her international debut four years later at the 2014 FISA World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. There she won silver in the mixed double sculls event with Rio 2016 Paralympian Jeremy McGrath.

Required to wear blackout goggles while racing, Kathleen says that this works in her favour as they allow her to focus more intently on the feel of the boat and her own movement, and not be distracted by the glare.

The South Penrith local is currently employed as a disability employment consultant while studying a bachelor of training and development at the University of New England.

Between work and study she also needs to find time to train, starting her busiest days at 4am at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith.

Although Kathleen would like to continue to be involved in rowing following her retirement from sport, her ultimate goal is to travel the world.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Rowing Disciplines: Mixed coxed four Classification: PR3-VI (B1)