Rowing is one of the world’s oldest competitive sports, and requires balance as well as physical strength and cardiovascular endurance.

Rowing for people with a disability is known as ‘adaptive rowing’, and was introduced by FISA (the international governing body for rowing) at the 2002 World Rowing Championships. Adaptive rowing is open to male and female rowers, and is currently divided into four boat classes.

Download our rowing fact sheet for more details.

Local programs

Contact your local rowing club for information about come and try opportunities and membership. For a list of rowing clubs in your area, visit Rowing Queensland.

Dragons Rowing Club in Brisbane is the home of adaptive rowing in Queensland, and welcomes new rowers of all abilities.

If you would like assistance making contact with your local rowing club, please contact Rowing Queensland.


Coaching and development opportunities are provided through local rowing clubs and governing bodies for the sport.

Image of Paralympic trunk and arms (paraplegic) rower Erik Horrie in a single scull boat. Erik uses a customised seat with chest strap for trunk support.

Competition opportunities and pathways

Adaptive rowers can compete in state, national, and international events including Rowing Queensland’s State Championships, Rowing Australia’s National Championships and the Paralympics.

Adaptive rowers need to be classified to compete at state, national and international level.


Specialised equipment may be required for adaptive rowers, and is available from a limited number of local rowing clubs.

The hull of an adaptive rowing boat is identical to standard rowing boats. Adaptive rowing boats may be equipped with special seats, which vary according to the ability of the rower.

Smaller boats are equipped with buoyancy devices called pontoons, which act as stabilisers.

Other roles

You don’t have to row to be involved.  You can make a contribution as a volunteer, coach, team manager, official, administrator of the sport or as an enthusiastic supporter. For more information, contact your local rowing club.

Working with mainstream sport

We are pleased to welcome Rowing Queensland as part of the Sports CONNECT Queensland network as the organisation aims to develop more opportunities for people with a disability to participate in rowing as rowers, coaches, officials, administrators and volunteers.

Useful links

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