RYLEY Batt would be forgiven for wondering if it was all worth it.
The early starts, the challenging training sessions and pushing his body to its absolute limit.
And that’s before he even takes to the court in the Australian Steelers first match at the Rio Paralympics.
As the sun beams down, sweat drips into his eyes.
It causes them to start to sting while his muscles burn as he completes the first round of resistance training as personal trainer Tony Lineham barks more orders at him.
But the ultimate prize keeps him going – a gold medal.
Batt will enter his fourth paralympic games and he’s just as excited as he was when he was 15.
Last week he received the prized green and gold playing gear and it made it all sink in.
“Every time you receive it it sinks in more how lucky you are to play for your country, but I want to control the excitement,” Batt said.
While Batt could now be classified as an OIympic veteran, the motivation levels are just as high.
“I thought this Paralympics would be the hardest one for me to get motivated for, but to be honest it’s been the easiest,” he said.
“After London I was wondering what to do next and for me it’s defending a gold medal.”
He won’t forget where he comes from with Port Macquarie to be at the forefront of his mind if the Steelers progress deep into the tournament.
You never forget where you come from.
“Port Macquarie has given me so much,” he said.
“I was born and bred here and growing up everyone helped me along the way. I have to give back to the town that’s given me so much because I love this place.”
Batt is not concerned about any security issues in Rio once the Australians land over there.
“I’m not scared or worried about anything,” he said.
“I’m there for one thing and that’s to try and win a gold medal.”