RYLEY Batt will be the face of the Australian Paralympic team for Toyko 2020 alongside six-time Paralympian Danni Di Toro after the duo were announced as team co-captains on November 26.
The Port Macquarie product will take the reins from Kurt Fearnley who personally anointed Batt as his predecessor following his retirement from the sport.
Batt was a popular choice to fill the role vacated by Fearnley although he admitted it still came as a surprise when it became official.
"It felt like a joke at the time - I didn't even know that I was in the mix for co-captain, and I was genuinely shocked," he said.
"Kurt is someone who I have always looked up to - both Danni and Kurt are.
"I've always looked at them and felt proud that they've represented our country so for me to step into that role, alongside Danni, is really humbling, but also an exciting opportunity."
Di Toro will return to the role for a second consecutive Games, after previously sharing the 2016 captaincy with Fearnley.
She is confident Batt will not only go down in history as one of the greatest wheelchair rugby players of all time, but also a formidable co-captain of the team.
Batt is a regular at the Olympics, having led the Australian Steelers to their first Paralympic gold medal in 2012.
"It's hard to put into words what it means to me to be named as co-captain," he said.
He is also a member of the first wheelchair rugby team to win consecutive Paralympic gold medals along with a world title in a four-year period.
It came after the Steelers won gold at the 2014 World Championships and 2016 Paralympics.
"To not only represent Australia at a Paralympic Games, but to captain, is something I never even dreamt of. It's a proud, proud moment."
Read more: Ryley Batt marks 300 games as a Steeler
Read more: US beat Aussies in wheelchair rugby final
Batt said as captain of the Steelers he would try to lead by example.
"I put my heart and soul into everything to do with our sport and I'm looking forward to having the privilege of doing that with the wider Paralympic team," he said.
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