Ten volunteer mentors will take part in a 244-mile bike ride to Paris to raise money for a charity that helps young black men.
The cycling novices of Stockwell charity Origin leave its base on Friday, May 31 hoping to reach Paris two days later.
The fundraiser by TeamOrigin, which they have called Brothers In Paris involves pedalling the equivalent of two-and-a-half times around the M25 motorway.
They will save money by having just two drivers of a van carrying all the support and first-aid equipment.
All costs to date including accommodation, bikes and training kit has been paid for by the 10 volunteer riders.
TeamOrigin 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 Origin’s rites of passage programme, which celebrates it’s 20th anniversary this year.
Origin has been supporting families since 1999 to raise sons via its rites of passage programme that focuses on nurturing the potential, talents and strengths of young men of African descent aged 13-15.
Co-founder, Paul Reid, said: “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.”
Each Origin season lasts one year and includes awareness-raising workshops, adrenaline-pumping adventures and tests of character.
Clients have new skills and have learned a lot about themselves and remain involved as members of “the Village”” to realise their dreams.
The Brothers In Paris challenge is the follow-up to last year’s white-collar boxing challenge which TeamOrigin took part in. That challenge raised more than £10,000 in donations.
TeamOrigin captain Adisa Stephen-Ezeocha said: “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 we as men are testing ourselves the same way we expect the young people on our programme to face their fear and test themselves.”
Donations raised from the bike ride will go towards funding Origin residential trips for the young boys on this year’s programme.
The branches of our rites of passage work include Origin for young men and AKUAH for young women.
Its programmes enable young people to journey together from childhood to adulthood.
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