GCSE student achieves all passes while completing 80-mile cycling challenge

Joe Golinski using his mum’s wheelchair, with a handbike attached to it (MJ Golinski/PA)
Joe Golinski using his mum’s wheelchair, with a handbike attached to it (MJ Golinski/PA)

A mother has said she is “very proud” of her son, who achieved all passes in his GCSEs as well as taking on an 80-mile cycling challenge for charity.

Joe Golinski, 16, and his mum, MJ, 49 – who live in Stoke-on-Trent began the 80 miles for 80 days challenge on July 23, in honour of the RAF Air Cadets’ 80th anniversary.

MJ and Joe Golinski (MJ Golinski/PA).

Mrs Golinski has cerebral palsy and has permanently used a wheelchair since 2017, following complications from a spinal surgery. 

Joe has been an air cadet since the age of 12 and his mother said: “Joe’s confidence and resilience has skyrocketed thanks to the cadets.”

Both Joe and his mother have been taking it in turns to use his mum’s handbike, which is attached to her wheelchair, with Joe “jumping into (his mum’s chair)” when she wanted a break.

Mrs Golinski told PA: “We began on July 23 and we did a few miles each using my wheelchair and handbike over a few days, before heading to visit family in Dorset and go to a music festival.

“We came home and chilled for about five days and then my bike computer broke, so we had no proof of what we’d done or any means of recording what we were doing.

“We began again from zero miles with another bike computer and we’ve done 60 miles since Saturday, (so really we’ve done almost 120 miles).”

The imminent end of the cycle coincides with Joe’s GCSE results day, who got nine GCSEs – a mix of 4s and 5s.

Joe Golinski receiving his A-level results (MJ Golinski/PA).

Mrs Golinski said: “Joe says he’s happy and is off to local college in September to study animation and game design.

“We had to move two years ago and then there’s been all the Covid stuff, so he’s done well.”

When asked how Joe found online learning, she said: “He didn’t mind it. The school still did online lessons every day from 9am to 2.30pm and then he went back to school after Easter & sat assessments in school.

“Joe preferred the continuous assessment eventually, but initially he was annoyed when his mocks and exams were cancelled because he’d been revising so hard.”

So far, the pair have raised half of their target and are expected to complete the challenge on Thursday or Friday.

Their fundraiser can be found at

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