Richard Colman AM

Paralympian & Keynote Speaker

Richard Colman AM is a highly successful Paralympic athlete, best known in sprint events, who was born with Spina Bifida.

He has won medals at Paralympic, Commonwealth and World Championship Games and holds a number of Australian and Oceania Records.

A successful coach and mentor, Richard was the first person in a wheelchair to umpire an AFL match. He was the first person in a wheelchair to travel down the Death Road in Bolivia in his racing wheelchair.

Now in demand as a keynote speaker, Richard's personal story is insightful and educational. He inspires people to believe that anything is possible if you have a go... and to always dream big.

More about Richard Colman:

Richard started athletics in 1995 and made his first state team in 1996 for the Pacific School Games. Since then, he has competed regularly at major national and international events.

Richard first competed for Australia at the 2002 IPC world athletics championships in Lyon France where he came away with a Bronze medal in the T53 400m. Two years later he won a Gold in the T53 800m and a Silver medal in the 4x100m at his first Paralympic Games in Athens.

In 2006 Richard won a Bronze medal in the T53 800m at the IPC World Athletics Championships in Assen, The Netherlands. In 2008, he won a Silver medal in the T53 200m and a Bronze in the T53 400m at the Beijing Paralympic Games.

In early 2009, Richard spent six months travelled Europe competing in 32 countries. He has now visited 60 countries with the aim of reaching 100.

In 2010, Richard competed at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi India in the T54 1500 winning a silver medal. In early 2011, he won his first IPC World Athletics Championship Gold medal winning the T53 800 as well as a silver medal in the T53 400m. That year he also won the T53 400m Gold medal at the IAAF world championships in Deagu South Korea.

During the 2012 London Paralympic Games, Richard won a Gold medal in the T53 800m and two Bronze medals in the T53 400 and in the T53/54 4x400 relay.

At the IPC World Athletics Championships in 2013, Richard won a Bronze medal in the T53 400m and a Bronze medal in the T54 5000m on his first attempt at this distance at a championship. Richard also finished 4th in a tight finish in the T54 1500m.

Richard became the first person in a wheelchair to umpire an AFL match when he officiated as a goal umpire in the Geelong Football League in 2007. During 2014 he became the first person to travel down the Death Road in Bolivia in his racing wheelchair - a 64 kilometre track which descends 3500 metres.

He has completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Deakin University along with a number of other qualifications. He is an ambassador for numerous events and foundations, and spends countless hours coaching and mentoring new and developing athletes to help them achieve their dreams, whatever that may be.

Richard Colman received a Deakin Young Alumni of the Year Award in 2012 in recognition of his outstanding sporting achievements, particularly in wheelchair athletics. He was nominated for the Athletes with a Disability award at the Victorian Institute of Sport Awards of Excellence in 2013.

In 2014, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for "significant service to sport as a gold medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and to the community".