‘It’s changed my life’ – Teen hails impact of Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46

A Clapton Girls’ Academy pupil claims taking part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 has changed her life.

Xazal Ozcan, from Hackney, is participating in the PruGOals programme, which is working with 500 youngsters aged 16-18 to build their confidence and encourage personal motivation.
Having completed the challenge last year, Xazal cannot wait to take part once more and puts completing the ride as one of her biggest life achievements.

“PruGOals has given me one of the biggest opportunities in my life. It’s something I can talk about when I’m asked about my achievements in life. It’s a special experience,” the 17-year-old said during a regional training ride at the Lee Valley Velodrome in Stratford as part of the PruGOals campaign.

“I’m happy to be doing it and I’m happy to be a part of it. I want to do 100 miles next year.

“I would say it has changed my life. It has shown me that I can do what I want if I put my mind to it and I can achieve a lot if I stay committed. That’s what it means to me.

“I was offered PruGOals and it sounded really fun. I’ve managed to get a bike and you’re completing 46 miles, how many people get to say they’ve done that?

“It’s helped me commitment wise. I tend to struggle to commit to anything but with the bike ride you have to train twice a week and it helps build my confidence knowing that I’ve committed to something for a long time.

“I love seeing different places and open spaces and enjoying what’s around me. I’ve cycled a lot recently and I love it.

“Aside from the experience, the knowledge of how to use my gears is something I’ve learnt. I’d never been on a road bike before. I’ve learned the professional side of cycling and how to maintain your focus.”

Prudential’s PruGOals programme is run in partnership with charity partners Greenhouse Sports, Transformation Trust, 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.

Listening to the double Olympic gold medallist deliver a speech was a privilege, according to Xazal, who hopes to use her words of wisdom as inspiration for the big day on July 29.

“It was amazing to meet Dame Kelly Holmes,” said Xazal.

“She’s inspiring. She told us that when she was young she had a tough upbringing and one person inspired her to become who she is today. She was told she can use her talent.

“I appreciated meeting her, it was important. Sometimes it’s great to hear someone say that achieved their dreams in order for you to think that you can do the same too.”

PruGOals is 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

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