Paralympics New Zealand thanks Roly Crichton for 20 years of coaching
- Dame Sophie Pascoe’s coach Paralympian #49 Roly Crichton was a successful Paralympic swimmer and six-time medallist who represented New Zealand at two Paralympic Games.
- Roly has coached many Para swimmers. Dame Sophie, New Zealand’s most successful Paralympian (Paralympian #166), is the most renowned of these.
- Roly Crichton and Dame Sophie Pascoe are PNZ Order of Merit Members.
- Roly Crichton has been appointed Performance Consultant with Swimming NZ
Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) acknowledges and sincerely thanks Roly Crichton for his dedication to Para sport excellence, and in particular noting his incredible commitment and support to Dame Sophie over a twenty-year coaching partnership.
Roly has given over 40 years of service and dedication to Para sport, representing New Zealand at six Paralympic Games, two as a Paralympian and four as a Para swimming coach.
Competing for New Zealand in Para swimming at the Stoke Mandeville 1984 Paralympic Games and Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games, Crichton was one of New Zealand’s first disabled athletes to be fully integrated into a non-disabled training system and was one of only a few Para athletes at that time to be focused fully on a single sport. His achievements as a Paralympian include six Paralympic medals across two Paralympic Games – Stoke Mandeville 1984 and Seoul 1988.
PNZ recognised Crichton’s importance to Para sport in 2015 when Members voted unanimously to award him with the Paralympics New Zealand Order of Merit. Established in 2001, Order of Merit Members may be conferred upon any person to whom PNZ specially desires to show its appreciation for valued services rendered to PNZ.
Speaking ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Dame Sophie described their partnership to 1News:
In July 2021, the pair announced that Crichton wouldn’t be travelling to Tokyo with Dame Sophie due to unforeseen medical reasons.
Dame Sophie today shared a heartfelt thank you to the person who has coached her since she was 8 years old.
Crichton, who coaches a number of Para swimmers, will no doubt continue to have a powerful influence on Para swimming in his new role at Swimming New Zealand as Performance Consultant. PNZ looks forward to seeing him continue to achieve Para sporting excellence with New Zealand’s Para swimmers in this new chapter.