Gold Medal Winning Paralympian joins UK Charity: A Stroke of Luck


Megan Giglia MBE, gold medallist from Rio 2016 Paralympic Games has joined A Stroke of Luck in an Ambassadorial role. A Stroke of Luck is a charity setup to support stroke survivors gain access to exercise-based rehabilitation services and so is a great fit with Megan and her focus on leading a fulfilling life post-stroke using exercise and sport as the foundation.

Just three years after suffering an acute brain haemorrhage/stroke, Megan capped her instant and impressive arrival on the world para-cycling scene by earning selection to the Great Britain Cycling Team for the Rio Paralympics where she won the 1st gold medal of the games in the individual pursuit.

A former multi-sports coach before she suffered paralysis to the right-side of her body in January 2013 as a result of a stroke, Megan became a double world champion and record holder at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in 2016.

Aged only 27 at the time of her brain haemorrhage and stroke, Megan honed her training as sports and fitness coach to identify sports which could help her rehabilitation and after impressing at a British Cycling talent identification event was accepted onto the Paralympic Development Programme in May 2014.

A Stroke of Luck is delighted to have Megan as part of the team. Craig Pankhurst, Founder & CEO of the charity, and a former international swimmer himself said:

“Megan is a truly inspirational person, and someone who has demonstrated unbelievable strength and resilience in the face of adversity. To be impacted by stroke so significantly, and to turn what is a negative into a positive, and then to achieve what Megan has is testament to her character. One of the aims at A Stroke of Luck is to get stroke survivors more active and engaged with exercise. Becoming as active as possible supports physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Who knows, through A Stroke of Luck, we may well inspire the next Megan Giglia!

“Having a stroke changed my life too. There is no question about that. I have to live my life differently and make adjustments to ensure I am able to manage the challenges I face. As someone who is fortunate to have a positive disposition for life, I wanted to create something that I felt was missing for survivors. Enabling survivors to become more active and to engage in exercise will support their physical rehabilitation, and in turn, will have a positive impact on their mental and emotional wellbeing.”

With a very busy few months ahead, Megan is currently in training to achieve her ambition of qualifying for her second Paralympic Games in Tokyo this year. About joining A Stroke of Luck, Megan said:

”It is a privilege and extremely humbling to be able to work with such a new fresh charity, with exciting times ahead. A Stroke of Luck opens up opportunities to assist stroke survivors around the world in self-driven recovery to improve, and become the best version of themselves, whatever their challenges. There is a huge gap in post recovery rehabilitation and unless you already possess the knowledge and tools to get yourself back on top then it can be very hard to get yourself out of what seems like a never ending abyss of darkness. This gap is clearly now going to be filled by A Stroke of Luck. I am a stroke survivor and sport was my saviour; it gave me a unique opportunity and ultimately it challenged and channelled me to accept, move on, and succeed. Sport gave me purpose and a way to tackle my inner demons. I live by a saying: “I am not what happened to me; I am what I choose to become.” Life is full of opportunities, I lost everything that Megan the 1st was, but with time and a lot of hard work, physically and mentally, I have recreated my life as Megan the 2nd! I am excited to see what the future brings for myself, A Stroke of Luck, and my fellow survivors.”

It is an exciting time for Megan and A Stroke of Luck. A regular video diary is being created to track Megan’s progress through her training programme leading to Tokyo 2020. There will be a ‘Road to Tokyo’ fundraising event in the Spring where Megan will be the keynote speaker, and the funds raised will support A Stroke of Luck’s aims and objectives. In the autumn, Megan will be working with A Stroke of Luck to launch her own cycling academy aimed at giving individuals the access to cycling.

Individuals interested in supporting A Stroke of Luck can do so by donating on the charity’s donation page.

Stroke Survivors or fitness professionals interested in signing up to the charity can register their details through the website.