Ryan’s fight for life reaps gold medal performance

By Tina Grieve

JUST three years ago Ryan Engle was on death’s door as he lay unconscious in hospital battling Meningitis Encephalitis. Fast forward to April 2022 and the 16-year-old is now a national junior para long jump champion.

Ryan has just finished competition at the 2022 Australian Track & Field Championship at Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre in the para division.

Born without a left hand, the Maleny local has refused to let this get in the way of his natural athletic talents.

Aside from the gold medal in the U17 para long jump,  (with a leap of 5.46m), Ryan won silver medals in the men’s para 200m and U17 para 100m.

He also won silver in the U17 para discus with a throw of 34.77m, while settling a new Australian record for the U17 men’s para F46 discus.

“It was heartwarming to see Ryan back out on the track doing what he loves after three long years of rehab,” his mother Sallyann Stewart said.

Sallyann said she wanted to especially give a big thank you to the APEX Club of Maleny who sponsored Ryan’s trip to Nationals and made it possible for him to attend and also his coach, Nick Bennett from Nick Bennett Performance Coaching who is helping with Ryan’s dream of one day making it to the Paralympics.