Athletics prodigy Philo Saunders was a star in his own right when he added coaching to his résumé in 2008.

More than a decade later, and Philo is currently juggling 16 athletes – three of them Paralympians, with another on the pathway – with his own career as a competitor, and more recently, as a guide for middle-distance rockstar Jaryd Clifford, who has a vision impairment.

Together with Tim Logan, with whom Philo shares the responsibility of guide, the trio are working towards selection to the 2020 Australian Paralympic Team. And fresh off a world title in the men’s 5000m T13, which saw Philo get off to a flying start and Tim bring it on home, we like their chances.

As well as Jaryd and Tim, Philo also coaches Paralympians Michael Roeger and Deon Kenzie, and emerging talent Sam Harding. And these partnerships have proven incredibly fruitful. In the eight …

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Date of birth
31 October 1976
Past Paralympic Games

Rio 2016 (as a coach)

Higgins, ACT
Sports physiologist at the Australian Institute of Sport
Started competing
First competed for Australia
Sport career highlights

Coaching athletes to multiple medals at the Paralympic Games and World Championships, and as an athlete, reaching 10 national finals

Greatest sporting moments

His son, Luca, winning his grade’s premiership in baseball in 2019, and Essendon winning the AFL Premiership in 1993 and 2000

Heroes/role models

Australian athletes with whom he has trained

Favourite quote
Be patient and trust the process


  • Sport: Para-athletics Discipline: 5000m Classification: Guide for Jaryd Clifford

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