Completing the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 has capped an inspiring few years for Camberwell’s Mulenga Chafilwa.
The 26-year-old was offered an apprenticeship with Greenhouse Sports, allowing him to travel to America and gain universally recognised coaching badges, and he now works full-time for the London charity.
Greenhouse Sports are part of the PruGOals programme, which is working with 500 youngsters aged 16-18 to build their confidence and encourage personal motivation.
And upon finishing the race as a mentor, he had an extra reason for celebration.
“I managed to do my PruGOal, which was to inspire the young people along the ride, so I was really happy about that,” he said.
“I saw a lot of young faces and asked if they were doing well, have they stopped, do they have some water, their gels, so I managed to do my PruGOal.
“To finish together, then go to collect our medals, that’s what it’s all about.”
The ride offers participants a unique opportunity: to take over London’s roads on a route that loops out into Surrey before heading back into the capital and finishes on the famous Mall – something that proved particularly special for Chafilwa.
“To pass the finish line on the Mall was incredible,” he continued.
“I was absolutely buzzing, had my hand up in the air, I was like ‘yes, I’ve done it, PruGOal accomplished!’ It’s brilliant.
“When we started in the morning everyone was excited. We didn’t have the sun, but that didn’t stop the commitment levels.
“I managed to see some of the young along the way, asked them if they were okay, if they were enjoying it, they said ‘yeah, it’s great, buzzing’, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Prudential’s PruGOals programme is run in partnership with charity partners Transformation Trust, Centre Point, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust and Teach First.
The role of the partnership is to empower young people to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential regardless of social or economic background.
“My own journey went from a participant to an ambassador, speaking to young people around the UK, getting them inspired,” he added.
“We’ve had this amazing journey over the last six or seven months, giving them an ambitious mindset and what it really takes to understand how to use your bike.
“Then coming to the ride and accomplishing that, it’s absolutely incredible.
“They’ve got big dreams, big aspirations, and to come together on the PruGOals programme, to reach more people around the UK to say if you’ve got a goal and you work for it you really can achieve what you want, and that’s why we’re here.”
PruGOals is an initiative set up by Prudential to empower young people to drive their ambitions and fulfil their potential regardless of social or economic background. For more information, visit prugoals.co.uk