Charity athlete aims to inspire

Race for the disabled raising funds for Aspire and funds for five Hand-cycles for the young disabled children in Crawley. Rob Groves. SR1510956. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150526-120626001
Race for the disabled raising funds for Aspire and funds for five Hand-cycles for the young disabled children in Crawley. Rob Groves. SR1510956. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150526-120626001

Support from town centre shoppers helped a West Green man to continue fundraising ahead of his next epic hand-cycling charity challenge.

Rob Groves, 59, is disabled from the waist down and has raised thousands of pounds for charities including Children In Need, Aspire and his own charity Race for the Disabled.

Race for the disabled raising funds for Aspire and funds for five Hand-cycles for the young disabled children in Crawley. Sam Cheesman from Halfords repairs bikes for a donation. SR1510921. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150526-120529001

Race for the disabled raising funds for Aspire and funds for five Hand-cycles for the young disabled children in Crawley. Sam Cheesman from Halfords repairs bikes for a donation. SR1510921. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150526-120529001

He took up hand-cycling after the London 2012 Paralympics and has since completed a number of long distance rides, including from Edinburgh to London last November.

On Saturday (May 23), Rob was raising money in Queens Square, and he praised the ‘great support’ he received from the public.

He hopes to buy five hand-cycles for disabled children in Crawley with some of the funds raised.

He said: “We had a really good day, with great support and we raised just over £400.

“Halfords have donated a limited edition Tour de France bike to raffle off and the bike is valued at £279. They came out all day and did free bike inspections.

“The reason I am doing it all is to show young disabled people what I have achieved, and they can achieve these sort of goals. It is to inspire them.”

Rob is set to feature in an upcoming ITV documentary and has been filmed in Tilgate Park as part of the production.

He will also be filmed hand-cycling past Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London, and said he ‘can’t wait’ to see the programme.

In October, he will take on another endurance challenge by hand-cycling 1300 miles from Paris to Madrid, ending at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, home of football titans Real Madrid.

He said: “My bike has been modified because of all the mountains I am about to climb. I will be following the coast down, building support and flying the flag for Crawley.”

Next year, he will be riding from New York to Los Angeles.