Ryan sails into Great Britain’s paralympic youth team

Ryan Sallens.
Ryan Sallens.

A student from Maybole represented Great Britain at the European Youth Paralympic Games.

20-year-old Ryan Sallens from Maybole was selected for Team GB’s sailing team, just four years after taking up the sport.

Ryan, who is hard of hearing and visually impaired, was competing abroad for the first time when he challenged at the European Games in Liguria, Italy between 9-14 October.

The Royal Yachting Association offered Ryan a place on the four-person boat and provided a coach and a team leader for the squad.

They also covered the costs of Ryan’s entry fee and accommodation and also made a contribution towards his travel costs.

Sports fanatic Ryan, who started his Sport & Fitness course at Ayrshire College this year, said: “I love sailing. It felt amazing to be selected for Team GB and I loved competing in Italy.

“I’ve also been swimming for about a year now. Earlier this year I was part of the South Ayrshire Swim Team Para Squad that won gold medals at the West of Scotland Regional Swimming Championships at the Citadel. My performance put me through to the Scottish Disability Sport Open Championships in April where I won gold and bronze medals.”

Ryan currently coaches disability sport, taking sessions in football, basketball and badminton. He has also been nominated for an award at South Ayrshire’s Sports Awards 2017.

He said “Being deaf and visually impaired has never stopped me competing in sport.

“I love to help coach people. Ultimately I’d love to be a swimming instructor or football coach.

“I’ve met a lot of new friends so far at Ayrshire College, who are keen to help me and want to learn sign language.”