Bilambil Heights paratriathlete Bill Chaffey is gearing up for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
Bilambil Heights paratriathlete Bill Chaffey is gearing up for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. SCOTT POWICK

Help get our athletes to the Paralympics

PARATRIATHLETES will compete at the Paralympics for the first time this year.

While it's a big feat for the sport, Australia's Paralympic team will need extra support to get to Rio in September.

Triathlon Australia's national manager for Paratriathlon, Kathryn Periac, was employed in 2013 to grow and develop the sport.

She said strong representation at last year's World Championships saw 14 Australian athletes take home seven medals.

Bill Chaffey gears up for Rio

But she said adequate funding was a grim reality faced by our Paralympians, who struggled to receive the sponsorship of able-bodied athletes.

"We do get some support... but there's still a significant shortfall in funds," she said.

"There is very little support for the paratriathletes."

Ms Periac was confident Tweed athlete Bill Chaffey would give Australia a good chance of claiming a podium finish in the paratriathlon's PT1 category for wheelchair users.

Describing Chaffey as a "legend of the sport", she said he was now inspiring less experienced athletes.

"He shows what is possible through hard work, through talent and determination and perseverance," she said.

"He gives back to the sport hugely and there are several young athletes using his hand-me-down wheelchairs and hand cycles, as they embark on their journey in the sport."

 

Triathlon Australia has launched a crowd-funding campaign to help get our athletes to Rio.

Visit asf.org.au/make-donation/australian-elite-paratriathlon-team.