A solid 8 hour sleep preceded Day 5. I needed it. That and various bags of ice on various parts of my body. Oh and a curry, a pasta, a burger and an oil salad – this was meant to be tomato and mozzarella but it was swimming in oil so I decided to leave that one! …Two chocolate bars for good measure too.
Loving watching the Olympics too – these individuals are absolute machines.
Today was a 113km cycle through Lancaster, Preston and ending in Chorley. Sun was out and wind was down – happy days!
The vast majority of the cycle – around 90-95km was to get to Preston West View Leisure Centre to visit Preston United Youth Development club. I was looking forward to today as it was my favourite sport – football.
The cycle was enjoyable (wait that does sound a little crazy!) Seeing a part of the country which I have not been before. Weaved in and out of various villages and lots of single tracks roads. Sun was still out…..
Arrived at the club to a warm welcome from about 50 kids, Omar and Rehana. A number of lads came over and said hello and congratulated me on making it – sound like they doubted me – maybe they know something I don’t!
Omar didn’t let me rest and rightfully so. He had me playing touch rugby for the blue team straight away. I sat towards the back and observed mostly. Omar wasn’t having it and had be doing a Gorilla style race against one of the young lads at the club. Was I going to be humiliated by another kid under the age of 15 – it appears so……….This kid can move on all fours like I have never seen! I even tried to cheat and got beat!
Following [another] humiliation I spoke to Omar about the club. It was so much more than sport (common theme here). Omar told me the surrounding area was so deprived that he even picked the kids up in a minibus rather than letting them walk to the club!
Omar has been doing this since 1997! Hats off to you. We spoke in some details about the club off camera which again I will keep much to myself. What was awesome though is how Omar has managed to get a third generation of ‘kids’ involved. He was telling me that the older guys there (20/22 years old) mentor the teenagers and the teenagers mentor the younger kids (aged 10 and above). What a great idea that you have a chain of support and they stay involved and move up a level in time. Omar your passion was clear – thanks for the chat. I then got thrown back in to play football.
Omar thanks for the invite back to play Zorb football – I will be back!
One of the kids asked why I had a black heart on my top! I explained to him it was a charitable foundation that had supported my ride and does so much for many great causes – The Black Heart Foundation. I thought now was a fitting time to say a massive thanks for the support from the Black Heart Foundation – especially to a real gentleman and incredibly generous man – thank you Ric Lewis.
Thank you Omar and Rehana for having me. To all the young men at the club thanks for showing me up and keep up the good work.
“Stop taking on younger kids at any sport! You are embarrassing yourself”!
Omar your longevity and continued passion is incredible. The lads clearly have an unbelievable amount of time and respect for you and what you do for them I suspect is immeasurable. Thumbs up!
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