Ryley Batt OAM
Paralympian and the best wheelchair rugby player on the planet
With five Paralympic Games already under his belt, Ryley Batt, is one of the best and most experienced players in the Australian wheelchair rugby team. Although Ryley was born with limb deficiency which left him with no legs and only a few fingers on each hand, he has never let this stop him in life.
As a child Ryley thought wheelchairs were for disabled people. He scooted around with his friends on a skateboard until age 11 when a wheelchair rugby demonstration at school finally convinced him to use a wheelchair. He hasn’t looked back since. By 12 he was in the NSW Wheelchair Rugby Team, and by 13 in the Australian National Team. At the Paralympic Games in Athens in 2004, Ryley became the youngest ever wheelchair rugby Paralympian at just 15.
Athens was a major turning point for Ryley, where his provisional classification of 2.5 was overturned and he was classified at the Games as a “high pointer” – 3.5. This required Ryley to adapt to new responsibilities on the court and to lift his game to a new level. Ryley managed to step up his game and was awarded the most valuable player in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
In 2008 Australia took the silver medal in Beijing and ever since then Ryley had the itch to win gold.
During his sporting career to date, Ryley has already achieved more than most.
Ryley has played two successful seasons in 2009 and 2010 for San Diego winning both titles in the U.S nationals. He also won MVP for both these seasons.
Ryley helped Australia take out the 2010 Four Nations and Canada Cup, while taking silver at The World Championships. He also took out the MVP for all 3 of these tournaments.
In 2011 Australia won both the GB Cup in Cardiff, Wales and the Asia-Oceania Championships in Seoul, Korea, with Ryley taking home MVP for both tournaments.
In 2012 Ryley helped Australia take home the gold medal in the London Paralympic games by scoring 160 goals during the tournament, including 37 in the gold medal match. He went on to make history as a member of the first wheelchair rugby team to win consecutive Paralympic gold medals and a World Championship title in a four-year period, defeating the USA 59-58 in a double-overtime thriller at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Also in 2012, Ryley was Wheelchair Sports NSW Athlete of the Year and a finalist in the NSW Young Australian of the Year.
Off the court, Ryley has begun to forge a career as an in-demand public and motivational speaker, inspiring such diverse audiences as attendees at leadership, business and economic conferences and youth summits.
Ryley returned to the court at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games – and as co-captain of the entire Australian Paralympic Team, no less.
An Adrenaline junkie, Ryley Batt’s life motto is: Anything’s possible.