Quick Facts

Physical Impairment – Paraplegia
How acquired
Snowboarding accident
Date of Birth
February 25, 1981
Lindsfarne, TAS
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia
Games Experience

London 2012


Kelly Slater, Mat Belcher, Malcome Page

Career Highlights

Qualifying for the London 2012 Paralympic Games

Greatest Moment

His 2.4mR peers


At the age of 23, Matt was involved in a snowboarding accident which left him a paraplegic. But the outdoor enthusiast’s passion for sport failed to diminish and, having already been sailing since 1992, he invested his time and determination into becoming the best Para-sailor he could possibly be.

Based at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, the Derwent River in Hobart proved the perfect place for Matt to develop his sailing skills. After making his debut for Australia at the 2010 World Cup event in the Netherlands, Matthew won gold at the 2011 National Championships. His breakthrough performance Championships came in a decorated fleet of 16 boats, including three former champions and two former Paralympians.

At the 2011 IFDS World Championships in Weymouth, England, he finished up the race placing 15th and in 2012 he backed up his earlier performances finishing 11th at the 2012 IFDS World Championships in Florida. By 2012 he was ranked fifth in the world and was prepared to take on the world’s best at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

While Matt did not medal at London 2012, he continued to train hard with the view of a podium finish at Rio 2016. At the 2014 IFDS World Championships in Halifax, Canada, he finished fifth. At the same competition, Matt competed with a team of six Australian sailors defeating Great Britain by one point to be named the best performing nation across all Paralympic classes, winning the trophy for the first time.

Off the water, Matt is a qualified chef and has completed a Certificate III in Commercial Cooking at TAFE. Matt views his two predominant activities in his life – single handed ocean racing and cooking – as his favourite hobbies, along with wheelchair basketball, fishing, travelling and reading. The Tasmanian loves to watch the television show Hannibal and says his favourite movie is Zero Dark 30.

Coached for Richard Scarr since his international debut, Matt plans to one day be the best 2.4mR sailor in the world and will be using the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games to help him move one step closer towards his goal.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Sailing Disciplines: 1-Person Keelboat (2.4mR) Classification: MD