As you all may have already heard through our twitter posts and fantastic video featuring the inspiring Dame Kelly Holmes; Flying Futures and a group of young individuals finally crossed the finish line at the Prudential Ride London.
Following on from the Get on Track programme, Flying Futures ambition was to get young people involved in sporting activities and other opportunities in hope it would help focus them on future aspirations.
In the Olympic Champions own words: ‘The aim of Pru Goals Campaign is to get young people to focus on having a goal and an achievement’ something our young people can definitely take away from this experience.
All the preparation and training has come to an end, as on the 28thof July the team made their way down to London; to the Excel Exhibition Centre where they registered and received their starter packs.
On the first night; a welcome pasta party was held for all those brave enough to take part in the 46 mile ride. Which followed on with a few words from Dame Kelly Holmes getting them pumped up and ready push their limits.
The morning of; everyone was up and ready to make their way down to the Olympic Park Velodrome. At 9:30 it was time for the chosen young people and our Flying Futures leader Bobby Johnson to get on their bikes. Although it wasn’t an easy journey every single person completed the race at an average time of 3 hours. For first timers I say that is an outstanding achievement.
In Bobby’s own words ‘Every single person loved every minute of it! Once we all received our medals it was surreal, as every single one of our young people had just completed one of the toughest challenges they will ever have to endure’
Preparation was key in this instance; as taking young people with very little or no cycling experience, putting them on two wheels on a busy road was going to take some practice. The team leader, Bobby Johnson organised practice rides every week up until the week of the race; gradually taking up their miles. By the last few weeks, with the help from Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, the group had bumped up from 6 to 22miles.
The biggest challenge they had to face whilst tackling the 46 miles was the weather conditions they had to ride in. It was an experience they had not faced before; as in conditions like these the training rides would have usually been cancelled. Riding on slippy roads, in the cold pouring rain Bobby was unsure how well the team would manage. But despite their doubts everyone was in good spirit and determined to finish no matter how hard the challenge.
Who wasn’t to say there hadn’t been a few moments where our young people were ready to accept defeat. However, with help from the rest of the group each induvial motivated one another to cross the finish line. Pru Goals provided them with regular stops to re-energise and at every ten mile point they would be given energy jells. ‘It told our young people that you have worked so hard over these past six months you don’t want to throw it all away now’
‘Now our young people have experienced how hard work is always rewarded they can translate this into their future career opportunities’. So not only have our young people taken away a medal but also a valuable life skill from this experience.