A year or so after Tom Birtwhistle graduated from Sydney’s St Joseph’s College in 2010, he was cycling to rowing training and was struck by a car. The outcome was an impairment to his left hip, leg and sacral pelvis.

He returned to rowing in 2013 but, frustrated by injury, quit after the National Championships the next year, focusing instead on his university studies and working career.

During lockdown in 2020, Tom hopped on his ergometer at home and, after the first few painful experiences, the desire to row reappeared. He realised he missed the sport and, with the change to 2000m racing in Para-rowing, decided to give Para-rowing a solid go.

Tom returned to UTS in 2020, where coaches Hally Chapman, Alex Field and Tim McLaren helped him get to where he is today. Tom says he is extremely grateful for their support and openness. He is thankful also …

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Date of birth
30 October 1992
Past Paralympic Games

Tokyo 2020

Physical Impairment – Nerve damage
How acquired
Car accident
Warrawee, NSW
Financial Analyst - Lendlease
Started competing
First competed for Australia
Sport career highlights

2021 - Australian Rowing Championships - PR3 Single Scull - Gold

Greatest sporting moments

2000 Olympics, Mens 4x100m swimming relay

Heroes/role models

Francis Hegarty/Mathew Curtin

Favourite quote
All limitations are self-imposed


  • Sport: Para-rowing Discipline: PR3 Mix 4+ Classification: PR3

Social Media

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