A cycling success!
After sixteen intense weeks of gruelling training sessions, Andrew our Finance Director finally completed his challenge of cycling from Budapest to Vienna in aid of Spinal Injuries Association. He shares his thoughts on his life changing experience.
On the 20th May, Spinal Cord Injuries Awareness Day, a team of 33 enthusiastic (and slightly nervous) cyclists and hand cyclists set out on their three day cycling trip in Europe.
Andrew stated that he was completely humbled and went on to say “they were tremendous individuals really and truly inspiring. They want to be treated like everyone else which they should be. They continue to fight back against the odds, and are now living a completely different life than they intended to.”“Spinal injuries can affect anyone at anytime throughout their life, it could happen to any us.” He also said “it really moved me listening to everyone’s stories that they shared with the group. There were motorbike accidents, someone had complicated spinal surgery, you just really don’t know” SIA’s mission is to support all the affected by spinal cord injury by advising, educating and campaigning on their behalf.
According to Spinal Research around 50,000 people in the UK and Ireland are paralysed due to Spinal Cord Injury and the most common causes of spinal cord injury are road traffic accidents, sport activities and falls.
This challenge was certainly not for the faint hearted, Andrew actually admitted the training regime was the most gruelling part of the SIA charity event.
He said, “I was given a 16 week training programme prior to the event, it was certainly the most challenging part of the whole thing. It was quite tricky to fit the training sessions into my schedule, especially as I’m from Bristol and I work in Warwickshire, I had to train 2 to 3 times a week so that was taking up a lot of my spare time.”
Besides getting to grips with the training, Andrew excelled at the challenge and achieved the goal that he set out to do from the beginning. “Initially I set a target of £2,500, in total I managed to raise £9,187.50. I’m still extremely grateful to all the people that sponsored me, especially Helping Hands who were kind enough to double the funds I initially raised.”
After 350 kilometers, seven punctures, and one bollard incident the event raised a total of over £40,000 which is an enormous achievement for SIA.
Here at Helping Hands, we’re extremely proud of Andrew and all of the other participants for everything they have achieved in this meaningful challenge and also raising awareness for SIA.
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