At the Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) Annual General Meeting held in Auckland on 30 September, Paralympics New Zealand Members voted unanimously to award Roly Crichton with the Paralympics New Zealand Order of Merit in acknowledgement of his remarkable service to Paralympic Sport in New Zealand.
Crichton has given over 40 years of service and dedication to Paralympic sport, representing New Zealand at four Paralympic Games, two as an athlete and two as a swimming coach.
Competing for New Zealand in para-swimming at the Stoke Mandeville 1984 Paralympic Games and Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games, Crichton was one of New Zealand’s first para-athletes to be fully integrated into an able-bodied training system and was one of the few at that time to be focused fully on a single sport.
His achievements as an athlete include six Paralympic medals across two Paralympic Games made up of one gold, three silver and two bronze medals.
Whilst best known as the coach of 10-time Paralympic medallist Sophie Pascoe, his work coaching para-swimmers dates back nearly 20 years.
Outside of swimming, he has coached a number of national and international triathletes and coached the Canterbury Wheelchair Basketball team in 2005.
Established in 2001, Order of Merit Members may be conferred upon any person to whom PNZ specially desires to show its appreciation for valued services rendered to PNZ, and conferred only at the Annual General Meeting. This nomination was submitted by Parafed Canterbury.