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  1. ITV Report

Paralympian given boost on quest to compete in Tokyo 2020

Aaron Phipps and his new handbike Photo: ITV Meridan

A Paralympian from Southampton says it’s “amazing” that he can share his “training with his children” after he was given a handbike by a local charity.

Aaron Phipps, a wheelchair rugby star from Southampton, represented Team GB at the 2012 Paralympics in London.

He says that the chance to use the handbike, donated by Totton-based Millbrook Healthcare, will make training for the 2020 games in Tokyo “much more exciting.”

Aaron said the handbike was something he had always wanted but had always been out of reach.

Aaron Phipps and his children at the race track Credit: ITV Meridian

The athlete lost both his legs after contracting meningitis when he was 15. He took up wheelchair racing, then wheelchair rugby, as part of his recovery.

Alongside his Paralympic success, Aaron has completed two London marathons and became the first person to scale Mount Kilimanjaro in a wheelchair.

He has also raised more than a quarter of a million pounds for meningitis research.

Aaron has also been named in the top 100 most influential people with disabilities in the UK, which he said was “humbling”.

“I’m so thankful that I went and tried disability sport.

“When you’re in that environment...in the end, it doesn’t become a disabled sport, it just becomes a sport.”

“If people are inspired [to try disability sport] by what I’ve achieved, that’s enough for me I think.”

– Aaron Phipps, Paralympian

Our reporter, Kerry Swain, went to meet him.