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This south London cycling group is ready to make history

WHEEL POWER: TeamORIGIN will attempt to reach Paris in 72 hours

NEXT MONTH Team ORIGIN – determined to outdo their charitable endeavours
in 2018 – will be setting off from their south London headquarters with the aim of reaching Paris in 72 hours.

It would be a simple challenge had the conventional means of transport that span, road, rail and air been the chosen medium, but each member will be on two wheels as they attempt to complete the 300-mile journey.

The fundraising challenge, from May 31 to June 2, is called Brothers In Paris and the distance of the journey is the equivalent of two and a half times around the entire M25 motorway.

The group consists of 10 cycling novices who kicked off their training camp and fundraising drive with 100 days to go until race day. All 10 members of the team are also volunteer facilitators on the ORIGIN rites of passage programme, which also celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

Since 1999, ORIGIN, a registered charity based in Lambeth, has been supporting families to raise sons via its rites of passage program that focuses on nurturing the potential, talents and strengths of young men of African descent aged 13-15.

ORIGIN co-founder Paul Reid says: “The journey was inspired by Marshall Walter ‘Major’ Taylor, the pioneering African American cyclist. There’s something powerful about 10 black men riding as a team across borders, particularly in this time. It challenges stereotypes and shows the boys we support that anything is possible and they’re worth our sacrifice.”

ORIGIN is a rites of passage inspired program delivered by 15 black male volunteers, each cohort lasts one year and includes awareness-raising workshops, adrenaline-pumping adventures and tests of character.

With raised awareness, new skills and having learned a lot about themselves, the group of young boys remain involved as members of ‘the village’ to realise their dreams. The Brothers In Paris ride is the follow up to last year’s white- collar boxing challenge that Team ORIGIN took part in.

It involved 10 weeks of gruelling training followed by a night of boxing at London’s Troxy in front of a 2,000 sell-out crowd. That challenge raised over £10,000 in donations and secured national press coverage.

Commenting on the upcoming bike ride challenge, Team ORIGIN captain Adisa Stephen- Ezeocha says: “We have set ourselves a huge challenge, one that we hope will inspire many people to support us.

“ORIGIN is all about exploring your potential and power, so sponsorship donations TeamORIGIN can be made by anyone. All donations raised from the bike ride in May will go towards funding ORIGIN’s residential trips for the young boys on this year’s programme.

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