Paralympian who was told he would never walk inspires youngsters at Polegate School

Polegate School has spent a week focussing its learning on disability.

Friday, 25th January 2019, 2:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:08 pm

Head teacher Mrs Martin-O’Donoghue said the aim of Don’t Dis my Ability week is to challenge perceptions surrounding disability.

Paralympic athlete Ryan Raghoo was invited to the school and gave an inspirational talk to youngsters.

We were delighted to welcome Ryan Raghoo, a long jumper with cerebral palsy.

His message is always ‘enabled not disabled’.

Ryan spent the first eight years of his life in hospital; in a buggy or wheelchair, with doctors and medical specialists certain he would never walk.

Rather than seeing someone as ‘disabled’ because they can’t do the things that other people can do, Ryan Raghoo is determined that we see them as ‘enabled’.

Ryan said, “It is my belief that as a society we should not be focusing on what people can’t do but rather what they can do, spending more time to ‘enable’ people so they can achieve whatever they want to.

“This is not about sport, this is about giving people with disabilities, whether they be learning/mental or physical disabilities, the tools to go out and achieve anything and everything.”

Mrs Martin-O’Donoghue said, “His message is always ‘enabled not ‘disabled’, and Ryan himself is the perfect embodiment of this.

“We were so lucky to welcome Ryan to Polegate with his inspiring story.”