Paralympian attends annual fundraiser in Aylesbury as 700 cyclists pedal for disability charity

A former Team GB Paralympian was on hand to reward the 700 cyclists who pedaled for disability causes on Sunday (12 June).
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GB rower Benjamin Pritchard attended Tour de Vale in Stoke Mandeville as hundreds raised money for national charity, WheelPower.

Wheelpower which is based at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, is the national charity for wheelchair sport.

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On a sweltering day cyclists pedaled through Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Three different routes were organised for athletes of differing abilities once, they had reached the finish line, they were greeted with a well earned medal and massage from the students of Bucks New University.

Following an accident in 2016 Ben was transferred to the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville to continue his rehabilitation and it was here that he was supported by WheelPower to improve his fitness and rediscover a love of sport.

He first took up indoor rowing during this time and was quickly spotted by British Rowing staff that started him on a journey all the way to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

The elite athlete said: : “It’s been amazing to see everyone cross the line with smiles on their faces.

"No matter which route they did they were so happy.

"There was lots of hand cyclists and people of all ages taking part which was great to see.

"Thank you to all for getting on your bikes at the Tour de Vale this year and raising lots of money for charity.

"I am myself testament to the work of WheelPower and the opportunities they provide.

"The money raised today will give more people the opportunity to know that life hasn’t stopped after an accident and it has just started. It genuinely makes such a difference.”

Over 150 volunteers helped out on the day, Bucks Radio is the title sponsor of Tour de Vale.

Nathan Cooper, content controller at Bucks Radio, said: "It was an absolute privilege to be the main sponsor of the Tour de Vale this year.

"It was fascinating chatting to Ben whose own story is another illustration of how life changing the work of the charity is. Seeing so many people of all ages and backgrounds coming together on the day to support WheelPower was fantastic."