AN ATHLETE from Hampshire has been given a specialist hand bike to help fulfil his dream of competing at the 2020 paralympics.

Activeability Solent handed over a specialist wheelchair hand bike worth more than £3,000 to Aaron Phipps.

The bike was donated by Millbrook Healthcare to help with his training for the next paralympic games.

The bike was presented to the wheelchair rugby player at Southampton Sports Centre athletics track .

The event was attended by Aaron, his wife Vicky and their three daughters as well as members of Active Nation and staff from Millbrook Healthcare.

Aaron, from Totton, said: "I didn't believe it at first. It's a bit like an Italian sports car- I've always wanted one, I just never thought I'd own one.

"I'm chuffed to bits."

He added: "It will make a massive difference.

"It will mean I don't have to sit in the corner of my local gym on the spin bike and I can get out and train.

"Most importantly it means I can now go out with my girls and train."

Peter Hull MBE, the engagement coordinator for Active Nation and a former Paralympian, suggested Aaron would be the best person to receive the bike when he saw it on display.

Aaron plans to use the state of the art bike to train for the 2020 Olympics.

Nick Coe, communications coordinator for Activeability Solent, said: "Aaron is at the top end of disability sport and there's no way he would have got a bike like this.

"Peter Hull MBE is a friend of Aaron's and attended an event when he saw this bike.

"He said he knew just the person for it.

"This is just one of our many projects to promote Disability Sports in the community alongside our Activeability Solent and Special Olympics Solent programmes."

Aaron contracted meningitis C and meningococcal septicaemia when he was 15-years-old and subsequently had both of his legs and most of his fingers amputated.

In 2012, Aaron represented Great Britain in the Wheelchair Rugby team and in 2016 he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro - the highest mountain in Africa - to raise money for the Meningitis Research Foundation.