From the small ball to 5 Olympic rings

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Whilst Damian Shaw may have scored another highly impressive victory in the Tour of Ards on Saturday he is primarily focused upon the para cycling World Track Championships coming up in Holland from March 26th to 29th.

Shaw will be piloting another man with a big engine, Peter Ryan from Upperchurch in Co. Tipperary. Whenever you speak to anyone involved with club in Upperchurch over the past while, there seems to be an excitement and a passion that equals the most fervent supporters of Peters previous sporting career with both the small and the big ball on the GAA field where Peter represented his county at minor level in both games.

Having lost his sight in the space of a few weeks at the age of 19 Peter was faced with a choice no 19 year old should ever have to make. He could feel sorry for himself or he could reinvent his entire life and make the most of the considerable talents that he possessed. A fighting spirit answered the question pretty quickly. He set about facing life head on and challenged himself to make a difference.

Peter has become an inspirational figure in both his local community and throughout the nation with his work for the Fighting blindness charity and he has spoken at a number of events where his honesty and courage have silenced audiences.

Already he has a gold All Ireland medal from the national 40K TT in 2013 and represented Ireland at a World Cup event in Canada last year, but this time in Holland it is different. Peter has set himself the goal of becoming better and better at his chosen sport with Rio 2016 firmly on the agenda.

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Ryan and Shaw will not be at any event to make up the numbers. They share a work ethic that is simply phenomenal. Whether it is Holland in March, or Rio in 2016 this dynamic duo will offer Irish cycling supporters plenty to cheer for over the coming months and years.




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