Rowing was included for the first time in the Paralympic program in 2008. Commonly known as para-rowing, it is open to people with a physical impairment or vision impairment in sweep rowing or sculling disciplines.

How to Row

The hull of the para-rowing boat is identical to able-bodied boats. Para-rowing boats are equipped with special seats, which vary according to the disability of the rower. There are a range of boat types appropriate for varying disabilities including a sliding seat, seats with postural support for those with spinal injury or cerebral palsy, whilst smaller boats are equipped with buoyancy devices which act as stabilisers. 

Basic Rules of Rowing

Please click here to download the Rule Book from Rowing Australia that is used at national/international events.

Who can Row

Impairment Type

-    Physical Impairment
-    Vision Impairment
-    Intellectual Impairment


Every Rower is classified based on their functional ability:

-    LTA = Legs, Trunk and Arms
-    TA = Trunks and Arms
-    AS = Arms and shoulders only 

How Do I Get Classified?

To determine an athlete’s class, a panel of approved classifiers will observe the athlete’s movements during both light and heavy exercises. If you wish to gain a classification please contact your state based organization. They will be able to assist you to get involved or provide details of opportunities to get classified.

Get Involved

Para-rowing is a fun, fast-paced sport that can be enjoyed by both genders of all ages.  It can be represented at club, state or national levels and is integrated with able-bodied programs.  To get involved contact your local organization for more information on how to register.

Where Is it Played

Every state has a local rowing program which is open to players of all skill levels. To start playing, contact your state affiliation listed in “Who Runs The Sport”.

Athlete Pathway

To find out more about the competition pathway for athletes please the state office listed below under “Who Runs the Sport?”.

Become an Official

The Introductory Level Officiating General Principles online course has been developed to assist officials in learning the basic skills they will need to officiate effectively. 

Become a Classifier

To be eligible to commence training as a classifier, individuals must meet the following prerequisites:

Medical classifiers: Currently registered medical professional (physiotherapist or medical doctor); with minimum 5 years clinical experience with people with physical disabilities. OR; Currently registered Ophthalmic professional (Orthoptist, Ophthalmologist) with minimum 5 years clinical experience with people with low vision. Individuals must be based in one of the major Low Vision Centres in Australia.

Technical classifiers: Must hold a Bachelor or Master degree in sport science/ kinesiology / human movement science or other equivalent; as well as hold additional sports specific qualifications including coaching or sport specific study.

All individuals must have a strong understanding of rowing.

To find out more about the classifier pathway contact the Australian Paralympic Committee via email or phone +61 2 9704 0500.

Become a Volunteer

Rowing in Australia is always happy to welcome new volunteers whether be at club or representative level. Many roles are available whether it be in administration or out in the field of competition. To find out more about volunteering contact your local organization.



Please contact your state office (listed in “Who Runs The Sport” section below) for details about up-coming state and local competitions.


Please visit our events page for any upcoming Australian events. 

UpCOMING International EVENTS

Please visit our events pages for any upcoming International events. 



Rowing Australia
P: (02) 6100 1115


New South Wales

Rowing NSW
P: (02) 9555 6111


Rowing Queensland
P: (07) 3842 1200


Rowing Victoria
P: (03) 9645 0624


Rowing ACT
P: 0406 376 666

South Australia

Rowing South Australia
P: (08) 8242 3288


Rowing Tasmania
P: 0418 125 319 

Western Australia

Rowing WA
P: (08) 9364 3905


World Rowing


Australian Paralympic Committee
P: +61 2 9704 0500


Get in Contact

Rowing Australia is the peak governing in Australia.
They can be contacted at:
Rowing Australia
P: (02) 6100 1115



Intro to Para-Rowing from Australian Paralympic Committee 


International Rule Book from Rowing Australia