Mr Richard Colman OAM
Bachelor of Commerce, 2010

As the hype surrounding the London 2012 Olympic
and Paralympic Games increases, Australian
Paralympic wheelchair athlete and Deakin graduate,
Richard Colman, provides an insight into his journey
to the games.

‘At Deakin I studied a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring
in accounting, finance and financial planning.
I chose Deakin because it allowed me to further my
sporting career and train full time while fitting my
studies in. I have studied mostly part time during my
course due to the number of international sporting
events I compete in each year.

At university I was inspired to look outside the
square and always have a go. I was inspired by what
I was learning because in a lot of areas I was able to
personalise it which created more interest. I am also
inspired by past athletes who have gone onto become
directors of major accounting firms and professors who
have a great work–life balance and enjoy what they do.

Currently I am a full-time athlete focusing on the
2012 London Paralympic Games, which will be my
third games. I have been pre-nominated for selection
to the team and being current world champion brings
added pressure.

Training during this extremely intense period leading
up to a Paralympic Games involves training three to
four times each day, six days a week, with one day
recovery to get the body ready for another tough week.
After London I will return my focus to life outside
sport for a period of time, before the build up to the
next championship begins. I have been trying to delay
full-time work for as long as possible because it will be there for the rest of my life, but being at the very top of sport does not last for very long so I need to make the most of it.

Over the past four years I have been travelling the
world for between six and eight months of the year,
competing in up to eight international competitions
each year. Racing week in week out in so many
different countries has allowed me to see the world and
meet so many people, not just in the sport but people
from all walks of life. That has been the most enjoyable part of being an athlete. But it does get tough living out of a suitcase for two to three months at a time, being in different countries and different time zones, in places where no one speaks English and the disability access is very poor – you learn to enjoy life to the max and just go with the flow and always have fun.

In this profession it is important to never get carried
away and over confident – when you win, never rely
on that one win thinking it will happen the next week.
When you win, you have to work even harder to win
the next weekend because now you’re the champ that
everyone wants to beat. The harder you work, the
greater your achievements will be.

My proudest achievement has been winning a
Paralympic world championship gold medal, but also
seeing athletes I have coached and been heavily involved with perform very well on the international stage.

Today I am motivated by so many things that I am yet
to accomplish in sport and outside of sport which I am
only now starting to achieve. I never dreamed I would
be a full-time athlete with such a great balanced life,
being able to travel the world and meet so many
people – but things have only just started. There are so many places out there to explore, so many people out
there to meet – I have so much more to do.

In the future I would like to be able to continue in my
sport as long as possible while fitting work around
my sport, be financially independent, and help my
sport grow.’

Find more information at

Richard Colman OAM

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3rd September 2010