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GB Para Cycling medallist says new phone accessory is vital aid for training

GB Para Cycling Medallist Matt Ellis finds PhoneHug® vital aid for training and eye condition


Matt and Rachel Ellis have found PhoneHug® to be a great addition to their sporty and active lifestyle.

Matt was diagnosed with the degenerative eye condition Retinitis Pigmentosa when he was a 17, however he has not let this hold him back in striving to achieve his dreams.

In 2013 at the age of 22 he was accepted onto the GB track cycling team and competed as part of a tandem team in the Kilo and sprint events.

He won a bronze medal in the national sprint championships and a silver medal at the international cup. In 2014 he was part of the Welsh cycling team for the Commonwealth games in Glasgow and won a bronze medal.

Matt has just confirmed (Monday 19th November) that he will be competing with Barney Story in the world Para Cycling cup in 4 weeks, shared by Dame Sarah Storey on twitter

Rachel Ellis,a qualified PT and GP referral instructormanages everything to do with her husband's sports career.

Rachel says:

"A large portion of Matts training is on a turbo trainer which uses an app to track his progress. He has previously dropped a phone onto his wheel during a sprint effort and the phone ended up in several pieces.

Due to his eye condition he needs the phone close to be able to read the data. Using his PhoneHug® he can securely attach the phone to the handle bars, read the data clearly and complete his efforts with confidence his phone is safe. 

The carabinar clip that comes with PhoneHug® is fantastic when we want to attach our phone to our bag whilst at the gym or at the track.

I particularly like being able to use the lanyard whilst at the side of the track, this means I can cheer Matt on whilst capturing photos and video footage.

It is great knowing that I'm not at risk of dropping my phone in the stands or onto a hard surface. 

Having 2 young children and 4 dogs means there are a lot of opportunities for phones to get knocked out of our hands.

We can now keep phones secure with us using the lanyards or even hang up out of reach of the little ones. "

Achieving great things through Matts participation in para sport is not only for himself but to inspire others. Many people with disabilities either feel they can't, or simply don't have the confidence to get involved in sport. He wants people to see their disability as an opportunity not a barrier.

Matt is a father to 3 year old Zayn and Reeva who is 11 months old. Reeva has been confirmed to have the same gene as Matt so will be monitored closely for Retinitis Pigmentosa. Showing his daughter, the amazing things you can achieve even with a disability, has given him extra motivation to achieve his dream of a Paralympic gold medal success.  



Following on from his Commonwealth success and the retirement of his tandem pilot, Matt decided to move into the world of Athletics. By the end of his first season competing he had shown great potential and was invited to be part of the talent development team with GB athletics as a T13 classified athlete. He has a string of medals from several competitions including the English Championships where he won the bronze in the 100m and a gold in the 200m.

His top UK rankings were number 1 in the Long jump and 60m and number 2 in the 100m and 200m. His Long jump distance put him 12th in the world standing after just a handful of competitions making him a great medal potential for the future. However, a lower leg injury made training and competing difficult and inconsistent and he made the decision to return to cycling over the summer of 2018.

Matt has returned to cycling with an incredible passion for the sport and the determination needed to get to the very top. Each day revolves around his training, nutrition and recovery. In just 5 short months he has been selected for a talent ID day with British Cycling and after showing great potential he has been invited back for the 2nd stage of selection.

Matt has found a new pilot Dave Hartley who himself set up Ilkeston cycling club which in less than 12 months grew to over 400 members. Matt and Dave now train together each week at the local gym and Derby Velodrome.


PhoneHug® designer Sam Fairbrother says: "We're really proud and feel privileged to join Matt and Rachel on this very exciting journey. "

The retail price is £8.95 per PhoneHug®. An affordable item and ideal stocking filler gift! Available here:

 For most this price it is a no-brainer, the price of one month's phone insurance.

The UK spent £5million on repairing smartphones in the last 2 years.

3 million Brits damaged or broke their phone last year.

500,000 people in the UK have their phone stolen every year.


Stockist info:

Lanyards RRP: From £3.45

PhoneHug® RRP: £8.95


Company Bio

PhoneHug® concept was established when two friends, Sam Fairbrother, a former commercial photographer and Geoff Barke, a concert runner, (now husband and wife) had a conversation around the kitchen table, voicing their concerns about phone theft and loss in their own industries, along with the many personal accidents that had occurred with their phones.

Sam Fairbrother created the initial drawing, a design process including a paper model and series of prototypes before PhoneHug® was developed to fit almost all smart phone models.

PhoneHug® tested with sailors, snow boarders, photographers, ramblers, horse riders, festival goers and back stage crews. It made its debut at Hideout Festival, followed by Glastonbury, WOMAD and Creamfields. Festival fans loved it according to feedback, but the pilot scheme identified the product size needed modification to fit almost all smart phones. This was achieved, and the first model is now on sale.

For further information contact:

Sam Fairbrother, designer is based in Manchester, UK. Hi-res photos are available.


Telephone: 07967 157377 / 0161 860 0263