Swimming For Gold
- Ranked 6th in the World over 50m in freestyle – S9 Cat (see FAQ).
- Ranked 3rd in Europe over 50m freestyle – S9 Cat.
- Broken 4 British records in career to date.
Hi, my name is Ryan Crouch and I am a swimmer from a small village called Manningtree in Essex – it’s near London.
I’m 22 years old and have been competitively swimming since the age of 11. Last year went to the Cerebral Palsy World Games in Nottingham and won two Gold medals. It set in motion something of a whirlwind that has ended up with me sitting on the verge of making my first Paralympic Games at Rio 2016.
Here’s what happened
In April of this year I swam at the British International Trials Meet in Glasgow. On the final day in the S9 Category (see FAQ) 50m freestyle I recorded the qualification time that has been set for Rio 2016.
On May 16, Paralympics GB picked me as one of their 31 swimmers for Rio and I was, and still am, absolutely over the moon.
It’s been a very tough four years for me as I missed out on London 2012′s Paralympic Games. After that disappointment, I decided to try and push myself even harder to make sure I couldn’t miss Rio 2016, but this resulted in me having two massive seizures, so massive that I was told to quit swimming for health reasons.
Me being me, I ignored that, picked myself up and, though it took a long time, I started to swim again.
In December 2014, I had another two severe seizures, which have now been put down to over-working my body. I decided to quit swimming for a while, but only lasted six months; I missed it too much and have been coaching myself for the last year.
I have also been coaching others and, earlier in 2014, I was one of the two coaches selected to accompany the British swimmers at the Invictus Games – that was an honour and very humbling.
So, to achieve the Rio 2016 Paralympics qualification time for the S9 Category back in April was, and is, absolutely amazing.
Unfortunately, the final hurdle has not been crossed as it’s going to cost quite a bit for me to complete the build-up to Rio 2016. I am going to have to give up some of my work as a swim coach to really focus on my training.
It’s incredible to be this close to going to the Paralympic Games and I hope you can see the sacrifices I have made and continue to make to fulfil my dreams of competing for a Team GB Paralympic Medal.
Anything you can give, or anyway you can help, will be so gratefully received and I promise it will be worth it.
Thank you for any help you can give,
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