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Remarkable man gives local charity a helping hand

 Published on: 3rd March 2016   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

A local man has completed the amazing feat of handycycling 2,000 miles in just three months to raise money for a Stanmore based spinal injury rehabilitation centre. Joe Gilbert, who has worked at the Aspire Leisure Centre in Stanmore for over 20 years, set himself the challenge of handcycling 1,000 miles in six months last May. However, after completing 1,000 mile in just three months, he decided to double the length of his challenge. He has now completed 2,000 miles in just eight months and has raised almost £1,500 to help people who, like himself, have spinal cord injuries. It was whilst playing wheelchair basketball for Great Britain in 1989 that Joe first encountered Aspire. He was asked to set up a basketball team at the centre and Aspire Force was born. Today the men’s, ladies’ and junior teams are still going strong and Joe plays and coaches whenever he gets the chance. Joe has only been handcycling for two years, but this is not the first challenge that he has taken on for Aspire – he has also completed the London Marathon three times and has now raised £5,000 in total for the centre. Joe said: “I decided to handcycle for Aspire because I wanted to help the charity to support spinal cord injured people.  When I was paralysed by a spinal cord injury 43 years ago there wasn’t the support there is today and I see every day the difference their help can make. “I would like to thank my handcycling partner Big Joe for his continuous support and for letting me drag him out handcycling, particularly through the cold and rainy winter months.  I would also like to thank everyone who has sponsored me, particularly the customers at the Aspire Leisure Centre.” If you would like to sponsor Joe please visit For more information about Aspire visit or about the Aspire Leisure Centre

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