Handcyclist Rob Groves and team at AspireOn Friday 14th November, Robert Groves completed his 500 mile handcycle from Edinburgh to London, using a handcycle which was part-funded by Aspire Grants. He arrived at the Aspire Leisure Centre on Friday morning to rest before setting off with 20 other cyclists into London at 6pm.

Rob was 49 years old when he was paralysed by a spinal cord injury eight years ago. Previously he had been a chef for 17 years, a publican for 10 years and had his own health club for 5 years. He says: “Prior to my injury, fitness and working out were my passions. I had a routine that consisted of running 6 miles to the gym, followed by a rigorous training routine. People would often approach me and ask if I was training for a professional sport. I would laugh and respond ‘No, I’m just training for life!’ Ironically I never knew how true that would be.”

Earlier this year Robert applied to Aspire Grants to request part-funding for a handcycle so that he could continue with his passion for exercise and supporting charities, and it is this handcycle which he used for the Edinburgh to London challenge. Rob has also qualified to take part in the Race Across America next year.

Rob said: “I am visiting Aspire today on my way to London because the Aspire Grants programme part funded my handcycle and so if it hadn’t been for them I wouldn’t have been able to do this challenge. I wanted to be able to support Aspire and other people with spinal cord injuries, and to show disabled people that it’s possible to live an independent life. I look forward to finishing the final 14 miles of my journey this evening and to continue working closely with Aspire in the future.”

Rob’s handcycling challenge ended on Friday 14th November in London as part of BBC’s Children in Need.

To read more about Rob’s story and to donate: https://www.justgiving.com/Robert-Groves5/

Could you be eligible for an Aspire Grant?