Joanna has always been interested in keeping fit by cycling, running and rowing but an accident in 2005 changed her life, leaving her with a spinal injury and paralysed from the mid-chest down. After friends fundraised to get her a handcycle, cycling became her lifeline, helping improve her mental and physical health. In 2019 Joanna undertook a 360 mile ride raising money for MND. She now acts as an ambassador for Spinal Injuries Scotland and continually works to promote handcycling for others with spinal injuries.
Joanna Martin said…
"I have always been keen on keeping fit by cycling, running and rowing but, in 2005 when I had an accident leaving me with a spinal injury and paralysed from mid-chest down, it became a lifeline.
"Friends fundraised and got me my first handcycle in time for me getting out of hospital. It attached to my wheelchair and I was out most days doing six miles. I also did various half marathons.
"I then moved on to a more streamline recumbent bike which was lighter and meant that I could cycle and keep up with able bodied friends and other handcyclists.
Without my ability to get out cycling no matter what the weather, my mental and physical health would not be where is is today
"In 2019 I undertook a 360 mile ride with a support crew from Helensburgh to Cheltenham raising money for MND (Motor Neurone Disease Association) after a close friend died of the disease. It was a huge achievement and has left me hungry to do some more long distance rides.
"Prior to Covid-19 I was cycling with a group of handcyclists at Castle Semple at Lochwinnoch and, as an ambassador for Spinal Injuries Scotland, continually work promoting handcycling for others with spinal injuries. Without my ability to get out cycling no matter what the weather, my mental and physical health would not be where is is today."
Joanna was nominated for the 100 Women in Cycling by Maureen Morrison, who said:
"Joanna has a spinal injury and is a real inspiration to disabled people. She is a keen handcyclist and has been for many years. She is always first to come forward to take part in activities for the charity to show others how cycling can have a positive impact on people's lives.
"As a charity, we do host events ourselves to show our SCI members all of the different sports they can take part in and be able to demonstrate for them. We wouldn't be able to do this without her. She is just fantastic."