Year Awarded: 2019
Sport: Athletics
Scholarship Holders

Jaryd Clifford - Athletics

“It’s an honour to read the names of those who have come before me and remember how far they have come since their youth,” Clifford said.

Born with a degenerative eye condition, Clifford shaved three seconds of the T12 (visually impaired) 1500m world record in 2018 before becoming the first ever Paralympian to compete at the able-bodied IAAF World U20 Championships – a feat recognised by the Laureus Awards in their September Sporting Moment of the Month.

Clifford will be mentored by 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee Lauren Burns, Australia’s only Olympic gold medallist in Taekwondo.

“I am honoured to receive the SAHOF Scholarship for it is a recognition of my potential to one day etch my own name alongside the sporting heroes of our nation. It is also an honour to read the names of those who have come before me and remember how far they have come since their own youth. To then be granted one-on-one access with one of those heroes, the great Lauren Burns, is an opportunity that will hopefully see me grown as an athlete but also as a person in life.”


Click here to read the 2019 Scholarship Media Release from 2018


Mentor Quote: Lauren Burns OAM (Taekwondo)

“Jaryd is a talented and passionate athlete and I am absolutely thrilled to be working with him. I am looking forward to assisting him in any way I can towards his journey to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020.”


NPB Quote: Australian Paralympic Committee, Chief Executive Officer Lynne Anderson

Jaryd Clifford is one Para-athlete who has had a meteoric rise since his Paralympic debut in Rio 2016. He’s excelled on the track, winning bronze at the 2017 Para-athletics World Championships, while also creating a name for himself as a budding writer. He’s on the path to winning gold, and with two years to go until the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, we’re incredibly excited to see him strive to reach all of his personal goals with the mentorship of Australian taekwondo Olympic champion Lauren Burns.

“We’d like to congratulate Jaryd on winning this year’s scholarship, and we’d also like to thank SAHOF for recognising his talent and his contribution to the Paralympic movement in Australia.”


NSO Quote: Athletics Australia, Chief Executive Officer Darren Gocher

“It is fantastic that Jaryd has been selected for the Scholarship. He is an incredible athlete that has had an amazing season,” Mr Gocher said.

“Athletics Australia is beyond proud of Jaryd’s hard work and dedication, we are looking forward to seeing what Jaryd can achieve in the future.”



Fast Facts

Disciplines: 1500m & 5000m

First started competing: 13 years old

First Club: Diamond Valley AC

State Institution: Victorian Institute of Sport

National Ranking (as at August 2018): 1st Senior Para

International Ranking (as at August 2018): 1st Senior Para, 17th U20 Junior Able Bodied

Occupation: Student & writer

All-Time Sporting Hero: Kurt Fearnley

Favourite Quote: “First with the head, and then with the heart” – Bryce Courtenay, Power of One


Honours, Awards & Results

Broke T12/13 1500m World Record

2018 Australian Junior Championships, Able Bodied, 1500m 1st

2017 IPC World Senior Championships, 1500m 3rd  

2016 Rio Paralympics, 1500m 7th & 5000m 7th 

First Paralympian to compete at IAAF able-bodied World U20




Picture credit: Athletics Australia

Mentor:  Lauren Burns OAM

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When considering the stature of an athlete or for that matter any person, I set great store in certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that the person conducts his of her life with dignity, with integrity, courage, and perhaps most of all, with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, and competitiveness.