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Disabled fitness intructors to carry Paralympic torch

Press Release   •   Aug 24, 2012 16:00 BST

InstructAbility is a programme created by Aspire, the spinal injury charity, and YMCAfit to give unemployed, disabled people the training, qualifications and practical experience to prepare them to gain work in the leisure industry as fitness instructors. The project has been awarded the London 2012 Inspiremark by LOCOG and recently won the Fitness Industry Association ‘Spark of Innovation Award’.

Hilary Farmiloe, Inclusion Manager at Aspire, nominated the team and said, “I am thrilled that the InstructAbility team has been selected. I nominated these five students because they are truly inspiring individuals who have overcome their own challenges to achieve success and are fantastic role models for other disabled people. Each one of them has sought to develop their own skills and knowledge because they have a genuine desire to use their experience and expertise to help others. Everyone at Aspire is looking forward to seeing them take part in what will be a fantastic event.”

The five graduates taking part in the Torch relay are Fiona Forsyth from Luton, Aruna Mahtani from Camden, John Craig from Hackney, Adam Hollick from Havering, and Charlie Humphrys from Oswestry, Shropshire. Individual biographies and interviews are available.

The 24 hour relay starts on the 28th of August at Stoke Mandeville, the spiritual home of the Paralympic movement. It then travels overnight across Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and London – including taking in a stop at Aspire’s headquarters in the early hours – before finally arriving at the Olympic Stadium in time for the Paralympic Opening Ceremony.

From Friday 24th August Aspire will be hosting the London 2012 Inspire Programme Photographic Exhibition which is touring venues since its showing at City Hall. The exhibition showcases several Inspire Marked projects and members of the public are very welcome to pop into the Aspire National Training Centre to view the exhibition.

For further details please contact Alex Rankin on 020 8420 6736 or 07795 606 140 or email



Aspire is a national charity that provides practical help to people who have been paralysed by spinal cord injuries. Every eight hours in the UK someone is paralysed by a spinal cord injury. For more information about our core services including Aspire Housing, Assistive Technology, Independent Living Advisors and our Human Needs Fund, visit

YMCAfit is one the UK’s leading training providers in the field of exercise, fitness and activity for health; driven by the belief that everyone in society is entitled to the health benefits of regular physical activity.  It is part of Central YMCA whose mission is to change health attitudes and behaviour through advocacy, education and direct delivery.


About the Inspire programme: The Inspire programme is run by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. It is an opportunity for everyone to be a part of the London 2012 Games – a broad participation programme spanning sport participation, education, sustainability, volunteering, and business opportunities & skills. New opportunities are being created to inspire young people and encourage the whole of the UK to join in. The Inspire programme has awarded over 1,400 different projects the Inspire mark.

The Spark of Innovation Award is part of the Fitness Industry Association Flame Awards. Aspire and YMCAfit were announced winners of the award for the InstructAbility project at the Ball of Fire in Sheffield in July 2012. The award recognises operators who have “achieved something exciting, new and innovative which not only solves an initial problem but has made a profound impact on the industry”.

Aspire is a leading charity, supporting the 40,000 people living with Spinal Cord Injury in the UK through a range of services.
Every eight hours in the UK someone is paralysed by a Spinal Cord Injury; it can happen to anyone at anytime and no one is prepared for how it will change their life. Aspire exists because there is currently no cure for Spinal Cord Injury. We provide practical help to people who have been paralysed by a Spinal Cord Injury, helping them move from injury to independence.
The services that Aspire provides are Aspire Grants, Aspire Housing, Independent Living, Assistive Technology, Campaigning and Research.

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