Bridge to Health Blog
Bridge to Health Blog

Introducing Ryan Raghoo, Paralympic Athlete

Written by Harry Rogers   Posted in:Osteopathy   August 4, 2016

Introducing Ryan Raghoo, Paralympic Athlete
Bridge to Health is very excited about its new partnership with Ryan Raghoo, a Paralympic athlete. For a young man of 20, he has achieved more than most of us who are far older, both on and off the athletic track.
I will let Ryan tell you his story in his own words, but suffice it to say that Ryan is much more than a world class Paralympic athlete. He is also an innovator trying to modernise the perception and expectation of people with physical disabilities not just in sport but in education and life. His message is always ‘enabled not disabled’, and Ryan himself is the perfect embodiment of this.
As an osteopath interested in sport it is always a pleasure to work alongside top athletes, and I hope Bridge to Health will be part of the team that lets Ryan fulfil his amazing potential. 
Harry

"My name is Ryan Raghoo; I am a Paralympic Athlete with Cerebral Palsy and I aim to conquer the World. 20 years ago I was born under very difficult conditions, and due to a number of errors from the medical team delivering me I was left with permanent brain damage and a condition called Cerebral Palsy. For the most part I spent the first 8 years of my life in hospital; in a buggy or wheelchair, with doctors and medical specialists certain I would never walk.
Growing up I hated sport, and still have terrible memories from being forced to take part in sports days at Primary school, where I was physically not able to compete with my peers. During secondary school I was excluded from sport completely, side-lined to watching my friends as it “was too dangerous for me”. Fast-forward to September 2014, the start of university. I came to university for one purpose – to realise my dreams of being a Paralympian. I started training properly for Athletics in December that year. My body had to adjust from training once or twice a week, to a proper 5 day a week training programme. Under a new coach, with new targets the fairy-tale season begun. I have since gone on to represent Great Britain at the World Juniors and Team England at the Cerebral Palsy World Games; amassing some medals and records along the way despite changes to my classification.
I first competed in the Long jump in August 2015 at the World Games, winning the gold and Jumping 2.80 (I will add I had no training and had never jumped before or even knew what I was doing). Later that year in December we got a long jump coach on board and started training for this event and after three months of training in February 2016 I jumped 4.61 and have hit the Paralympic Qualifying Standard of 4.50. Whilst I am still learning how to be a long jumper it has been a historic first season with many learning curves and many memorable moments; which include breaking the British Record, jumping the European Qualifying Distance 17 times, and the Paralympic Standard twice. From a coach’s perspective to break a PB (personal best) 5/6 times in the space of 3/4 months, improve by nearly 2m and qualify for the biggest event in sport after only 3 months in a new event you couldn’t really ask for much more.
As is the nature of being an elite athlete we’re never quite satisfied... I am disappointed to have missed out on selection for Rio 2016, but am now fully focused on moving forward. The team at Bridge to Health will be integral to my progress in the short and the long term, as a Cerebral Palsy athlete my recovery takes twice (sometimes more) as long; the combination of osteopathy, sports massage and acupuncture will not only ensure I am fit to compete year round but also ensure I’m in the best condition possible. My body will need realigning and adjusting as I continue to force it to do things it wasn’t designed for, and together we will have to work to combat habits of a lifetime.
I’m far from the finished product but having a Therapy team on board working in partnership with the coaching team can only spell good things for the future. I’m very grateful to Mathieu and all the team for believing in me, taking an interest in my story, and becoming part of the next chapter"


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