15328-Rowan Crothers photo

Rowan Crothers



Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Cerebral Palsy
Origin of Impairment
S10, SB9, SM10

Further personal information

Brisbane, QLD, AUS
Athlete, Motivational Speaker
Higher education
Communications, Public Relations - Griffith University: Nathan, QLD, AUS

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up swimming at age seven and began competing in Para swimming in 2009.
Why this sport?
His interest in Para sport was sparked by seeing Australian Para swimmer Peter Leek win gold in the SM8 200m individual medley at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. "I have always been bad at sports but I always loved swimming. I had to swim with the beginners for a very long time because the cerebral palsy affected my stroke and I got really sad having to swim with the six-year-olds when I was 10. When I saw the Paralympic Games I realised that I could be a great swimmer, just different. I want other kids with disabilities to know they can be great swimmers too."
Club / Team
Yeronga Park: Brisbane, QLD, AUS
Name of coach
Robert van der Zant [club], AUS; Kate Sparkes [club, national]; Brendan Burkett [national], AUS

International debut

Competing for

General interest

Magnet ["I earned the nickname when I played water polo because I think on about three or four different occasions I unintentionally stopped a ball from entering the goal with my head."] (, 03 Apr 2014)
Listening to music, playing video games and E-sports, watching films. (, 14 Apr 2019; Facebook page, 04 Oct 2017)
Memorable sporting achievement
Recording a time of 49 seconds in the 100m freestyle at the Australian national short course championships in 2017. (, 14 Apr 2019)
Hero / Idol
Australian Para sprinter Geoff Trappett. (, 28 May 2014)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Trust the process." (Instagram profile, 22 Nov 2020)
Awards and honours
In 2022 he received the Medal of the Order of Australia [OAM] for service to sport. (Instagram profile, 26 Jan 2022)

In 2017 he was named Paralympic Swimmer of the Year by Swimming Australia at the organisation's annual gala awards night. (, 06 Nov 2017)

He was named 2014 Junior Male Athlete of the Year and Senior Male Athlete of the Year by the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association in Queensland, Australia. (, 21 Nov 2014)

He was named 2012/13 Best Para Swimmer by the Brisbane Swimming Association in Queensland, Australia. (Facebook page, 13 Apr 2017)

He received the 2012 YoungStar Award for Sport from North West News in Queensland, Australia. (, 16 Jun 2012)
Other sports
He has competed at the Australian able-bodied national swimming championships and was part of the 4x200m freestyle relay team that won silver at the 2017 edition in Brisbane, QLD. (SportsDeskOnline, 24 Apr 2020)
To compete at the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris. (Instagram profile, 10 Sep 2021)
He has cerebral palsy and chronic lung disease after being born 15 weeks premature. The condition means he has stiffness in his lower limbs and right arm. (, 01 Sep 2016;, 09 Mar 2016)
Other information
In February 2022 he became chairman of the advisory board of Choice, Passion, Life [CPL], an organisation that provides support to people with impairments in Australia. In early 2022 he was also named as part of the four-person Para Athlete Leadership Group that will lead the Australian Para swimming team until after the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris. "The Paralympic programme has come a long way since I first joined the team in 2013, and I have watched myself and others grow in many aspects over this time. One of my primary goals as a leader is to build further upon the performance-driven mentality within the team, creating a more unified team with a greater ability to achieve results both individually and as a team." (LinkedIn profile, 28 Apr 2022;, 21 Feb 2022;, 13 Feb 2020; Twitter profile, 13 Apr 2017)

In 2020 he appeared in a documentary named 'No Distinguishing Features', which followed six people with impairments. "I hope that when people watch the film, they'll learn that my most significant hardships have not been overcoming my disability, but rather overcoming the limitations, boundaries, and expectations that others place on me because of my disability." (No Distinguishing Features Facebook page, 28 Aug 2020; Instagram profile, 24 Aug 2020)


Unit Date Rank
2013 IPC Swimming World Championships (Montreal, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 100 m Freestyle S9 Final 1 2013-08-12 3
Men's 100 m Freestyle S9 Heat 2 2013-08-12 2
Men's 50 m Freestyle S9 Heat 1 2013-08-13 9
Men's 4x100 m Freestyle 34pts Final 1 2013-08-15 1
Men's 400 m Freestyle S9 Heat 1 2013-08-16 2
Men's 400 m Freestyle S9 Final 1 2013-08-16 5
Men's 100 m Backstroke S9 Heat 1 2013-08-18 12
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 50 m Freestyle S10 Final Round 2016-09-09 6
Men's 50 m Freestyle S10 Heat 2 2016-09-09 2
Men's 100 m Freestyle S10 Final Round 2016-09-13 5
Men's 100 m Freestyle S10 Heat 1 2016-09-13 2
Men's 4x100 m Freestyle 34pts Final Round 2016-09-14 5
Men's 400 m Freestyle S10 Final Round 2016-09-15 6
Men's 400 m Freestyle S10 Heat 2 2016-09-15 4