Paralympian Ryley Batt conquers Heartbreak Hill

Paralympic Rugby Wheelchair star Ryley Batt can add ‘conquering Heartbreak Hill’ to his long list of achievements after he took on the 2013 Sun Herald City2Surf to support the work of TAD Disability Services (TAD).

Ryley completed the course in his rugby wheelchair, not the typical racing wheelchair, in 1 hour and 43 minutes. He was joined by his father, Doug and colleagues from GIO to take on the challenge and raise funds for TAD to provide custom equipment and modified bicycles to children with disabilities.

A perfect sunny day set the scene for Ryley and his fellow GIO for TAD Team members. Before the race Ryley said, “I’m excited, I’ve never been to anything like this, being a town boy from Port Macquarie, so to do something like this is amazing and it’s great to do it with GIO for TAD.” Celebrating its 43rd year, the City2Surf continued its reign as the world’s largest run with 85,000 registered participants.

Ryley pushed over Heartbreak Hill and finished up on Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach. When asked how he found the event Ryley said “It was great fun, apart from making sure I missed people’s ankles to not take them out! Everyone was really happy, it was such a positive event and I was happy to be able to do it with my dad.”

Ryley and the team from GIO raised $2,858.50 to fund custom designed equipment and modified bikes for children with disabilities to enable them to lead more independent lives.

TAD Disability Services CEO, Alan McGregor says, “Everyone here is in awe of Ryley and the challenge he has taken on for TAD. It's one thing to run in the City2Surf, it's another thing to do it in a wheelchair! His support and the support from the GIO for TAD Team has been fantastic.”

The next challenge for Ryley is the GIO National Wheelchair Rugby Championships where his team GIO NSW Gladiators, take on the Suncorp QLD Cyclones on the 14th August 2013. The Championships are being held at Sydney Olympic Park, for more information go to www.wsnsw.org.au. Entry is a gold coin donation to Wheelchair Sports NSW for people to come and watch Ryley in action.

Sun 11 Aug 2013