A cycling prodigy who dropped out of the sport due to financial difficulties is getting back on her bike to complete the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46.
Manchester Health Academy student Klaudia Nowak is taking on the challenge through PruGOals, which is working with 500 youngsters aged 16-18 to build their confidence and encourage personal motivation.
The Academy got involved in the programme through national education charity, the Transformation Trust.
Klaudia was identified as a talented cyclist when she was younger and regularly trained on the track at the Manchester Velodrome.
However, she dropped out of the sport as she could not afford to get to the track, before also leaving college to help her mum look after her newborn baby sister.
She has since returned to her studies and has committed to finishing the 46-mile challenge on July 29 thanks to the support of the PruGOals programme.
“I signed up to PruGOals because I wanted to gain experience and I like cycling as I used to do track cycling for a couple of years,” she said.
“Now changing over to doing road cycling is something I want to do, a completely new experience for me to try.
“I used to do track cycling professionally but I stopped due to personal reasons. PruGOals has helped me get back into cycling, which is really good.”
PruGOals is run in partnership with charity partners Transformation Trust, Greenhouse Sports, 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.
As part of the programme, all of the participants have been given bikes, equipment, training and workshops on nutrition and well-being.
Speaking at a PruGOals regional training ride at the University of Sheffield, Klaudia said: “The workshops have been really helpful. I did the nutrition one and they gave us loads of information and we did lots of different activities.
“I really can’t wait to do the 46-mile ride and I want to do it because it’s such a big distance and it’s something I want to achieve by finishing it.
“I just want to finish it as it is such a big achievement and it will look good on my CV.”
In her role as PruGOals ambassador, Dame Kelly Holmes was at the regional training ride to mentor the youngsters and to encourage them on their aspirational journey.
“I am really excited to be part of the PruGOals programme again,” said the double Olympic gold medallist from Athens 2004, who previously completed the 46-mile ride.
“It’s great to inspire these young people to overcome the challenges in front of them and show there are opportunities for everyone, no matter what their background is.”
Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46, part of the world’s greatest festival of cycling, is a 46-mile ride on traffic free roads, which finishes on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.
Dame Kelly Holmes was speaking at the PruGOals training rides, 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