Paralympic gold medallist launches fundraising drive to bring disability sport opportunities to Wales

6 March 2017

Paralympian Andy LewisRio 2016 hero Andy Lewis MBE today called on the British public to get behind ‘Tour de Cymru’, a new cycling event which will raise money for disability sport.

The Paralympian lost his right leg in a motorbike accident as a 16-year-old.

The injuries sustained in the collision prevented Andy from joining the parachute regiment of the British army.

Last year Andy made history, winning gold in the first para-triathlon to be staged at a Paralympic Games.

Now the athlete is supporting Leonard Cheshire Disability as a team of fundraisers representing the charity attempt to raise £10,000 through cycling across Wales.

The ‘Tour de Cymru’ challenge will involve 10 amateur cyclists — a mix of staff and supporters — covering 350 miles in five days, starting on 24 May.

Team members will zig-zag from Anglesey to Gwent, stopping off at each of Leonard Cheshire’s five Welsh residential care services, four supported living services, and its Discover IT centre in Swansea en route.

Andy said:

‘I’m supporting Leonard Cheshire in their cycling challenge as I’d like many more people to be able to access sport.

‘Sport is important to me because it has given me the freedom I believe everyone should have access to.

‘Since believing in myself and taking up sport, I have achieved some great things in life.’

In Wales, Leonard Cheshire supports disabled people in five residential homes and four supported living services.

The international charity, which is celebrating the centenary of the birth of its founder throughout 2017, also provides community IT and volunteering programmes here.

All money raised in Wales from this event will be spent in Wales. It will be used to buy adapted sports and physiotherapy equipment for the people living in Leonard Cheshire services and to help residents access sporting activities in the local community.

Activities could range from wheelchair dancing to bowling, archery to horse-riding. For some of residents, funds raised may help cover the costs of seeing their team play a live sports match, something which isn’t always possible without the help of specialised staff, transport and appropriate support.

Find out more about Tour de Cymru and how to donate.

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