UC sporting legend – Wheelchair rugby star!

Tim Johson







Tim Johnson is another UC sporting legend who has achieved great things. Following a tragic car accident on the day after his 19th birthday, Johnson was left a tetraplegic. In 1998, the wheelchair rugby athlete graduated from the University of Canterbury and Christchurch College of Education with a Batchelor of Engineering with Honours in electrical, electronics and communications engineering. In 1999, he earned a graduate diploma in teaching and learning (secondary) and a Master of Engineering in 2004.

Johnson represented New Zealand from 1998 until 2010 as a part of the wheelchair rugby team. At the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney, he and his team won bronze and four years later took gold at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens.  He then represented New Zealand at the 2008 Paralympics as both a player and assistant coach for the team, which placed fifth.

Johnson also collected two silver medals, one at the 1998  world championships in Toronto and the other in 2006 in Christchurch, where he captained the team.

Aside from competing, he plays a significant role as a New Zealand disability sports administrator. Between 2003 and 2004, he served as president of New Zealand Wheelchair Rugby and again from 2011 to 2014. He was also treasurer in 2005 and served as an Athlete Council representative on the New Zealand Olympic Committee since 2003.

He was recognised for his talents and service by UC, being awarded University of Canterbury and New Zealand Universities Blues as well as Queen’s Birthday Honours recently this year. Johnson was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to disability sport.

Johnson is now retired from wheelchair rugby and is a father of three.

Have a voice! Tell us what you're thinking...