Cyclists gear up for good turn from south London FC grounds
Scores of cyclists took to the saddle to take part in the Wheels for Change 100km cycling challenge, setting off from Barclays Premier League grounds Crystal Palace and Fulham on Sunday 24th of May.
The two London football clubs were taking part in the Wheels for Change cycling event in aid of UNICEF, the world’s leading organisation working for children and young people, and supported by Barclays.
Around 260 participants took to their bikes from seven Barclays Premier League affiliated venues in total, including Crystal Palace FC and Fulham.
Among the entrants were Donald Forde, Head of Foundation at Crystal Palace FC Foundation and his daughter Felixe, who said “It was great to be representing Palace and I met some really lovely people on the ride. I won’t pretend though. It was hard. Really hard.
An estimated £220,000 was raised which will help young people in some of the world’s poorest countries.
Catherine Cottrell, Deputy Executive Director of Fundraising, at UNICEF UK said: “What a fantastic achievement by all the cyclists who took part in the challenge. On behalf of the young people who will benefit from the money raised, I would like to say a huge thank you to not only those who cycled but also to everyone who sponsored them. It just proves how the power of sport really can save and change the lives of children and young people around the world.
Money raised from the Wheels for Change event enhances the ongoing work of the Barclays and UNICEF Building Young Futures partnership. The global partnership, which began in 2008, provides disadvantaged young people with the employability, enterprise and financial skills they need to find work, or set up their own small business. Almost a quarter of the world’s young people are unemployed and the problem is getting worse.
Musa Matovu, 23, who lives in a small rural village in Uganda, is just one of the young people benefiting from the Building Young Futures partnership.
In Uganda, a staggering 80 per cent of those aged 15-24 are unemployed and face bleak employment opportunities.
Musa, 23, who had to drop out of school to earn money to help his family, dreams of one day becoming a mechanic.
“I have missed the opportunity to become an engineer because I couldn’t complete my education, but repairing vehicles is the next best thing. There is a garage in town where I train for free. I hope to find ways of raising capital and one day open my own garage” he said.
The Building Young Futures training programme is helping Musa learn business, management and finance skills. He will then be able to apply for a grant so his dream of becoming a mechanic can become a reality.
Shane Hawkins, Founder of Wheels for Change and a Managing Director at Barclays said: “Wheels for Change was an amazing day, raising a fantastic £220,000 for UNICEF.
“Wheels for Change is about making a real difference to young people, like Musa, helping them to build stronger futures for themselves and their communities.”
To find out more visit the Wheels for Change website: www.wheelsforchange.co.uk
For more information, please contact:
Lou Garrett UNICEF UK 020 7375 6047 LouiseG@unicef.org.uk or the UNICEF UK Press team on 020 7375 6030