Australian Wheelchair Rugby player Ryley Batt will represent the Australian Paralympic Team alongside Daniela di Toro. After the pair was announced as Australia’s two flag bearers for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
Batt first represented Australia at the Paralympics at age 15 in Athens and was the youngest Paralympic rugby player in the world at the time.
He became a vital member of the side that went on to win silver in 2008 at the Beijing Paralympics and gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016.
His success in Wheelchair Rugby doesn’t just extend to the Paralympics, Batt has also won silver at the IWRF World Championships in 2012 and 2018, and gold in 2014. In 2010 he won the Most Valuable Player award for the tournament and in 2018 Batt was the only Steeler to be named on the 2018 IWRF World Championship All-Tournament Team.
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Since 2016 Batt has been the captain of the Australian Steelers and in November 2019 he was named as co-captain of the Australian Paralympic team for Tokyo 2020.
Never considering himself a leader, Batt believes it was his people skills and ability to effectively communicate with his team that made others look to him as a leader.
“Leadership is something I never considered, the captaincy [of the Paralympic team] was never something I thought I’d be in the mix for,” he said speaking to the Law Society Journal earlier this year.
“I’m a people person – I love to make people happy and communicate. But I don’t go out there and say, ‘I’m going to go out and inspire these troops.’ I think a leader does that automatically. Maybe I’ve been doing it already and just overlooking it.”
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