Name: Robert Groves
Favourite sport: Hand Cycling
Aged just 50 Robert Groves life was turned upside down when a traumatic accident left him partially paralysed. Facing the prospect of being unable to walk again Rob retreated to his home:
“I didn’t leave my house for 3 years, trying to come to terms with being a wheelchair user. My wife would try and give me the chair to go out and I would throw it against a wall”
Rob and a friend went to the London 2012 games where he witnessed the sight of Karen Darke crossing the finish line hand in hand with Rachel Morris in the women’s road race H1-3 competition.
“2012 inspired me to get more active, I’ve lost 3 and a half stone and train ¾ times a week, handcycling 60-70 miles per day. I lift weights in the gym and have started teaching children and others, to promote physical activity and help people with disabilities become more independent. “
Since then Rob has completed a series of impressive feats, such as handcycling from Scotland to London, followed by the Coastline Challenge.
“Coastline Challenge was probably my best achievement so far, I handcycled 2,500 miles over 27 days, averaging over 90 miles per day.”
Now aged 62, Rob’s achievements have helped to raise over £250,000 however Rob’s dedication to his sport is far greater than just participation, he wants to help others, not only learn to handcyle but also for their holistic development.
“I want to help young people, they are the future of disability sport. I want to show others that disabled people can do anything they want to, and that disability is a state of mind, with the support of friends and family disabled people can achieve anything they want.”
Rob has no plans to slow this down at any point, he has recently started a Quest4Hope project, where he has pledged to handcycle 10,000 miles over the next 3 years, across 5 continents, including New York to Los Angeles in 2019.
“When I speak to people with disabilities the word hope is always brought up. My Quest4Hope project is about Inspiring people to live healthy, active lifestyles, bringing family, friends, and people together, saving the planet and its entire species and to tackle their own quest4Hope”
Rob also had this advice for anybody else with a disability looking to get more active:
“Utilise social media, search online, you don’t always know who will help but you will find friends and find people in similar positions.”
“With austerity and funding cuts there is a big squeeze on funding, but don’t ever give up. Keep searching for your goals and people will help you.”