Introducing the Greenhouse Community Riders: Hamse, Liiban, and Tanveer

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On 30 July the Prudential RideLondon event takes place through the streets of London and Surrey. As long-time Greenhouse Sports supporters, Prudential has invited a number of young people from our programmes to be part of their team of community riders for the iconic closed-road cycle. The community riders will follow a 46 mile route which was created in 2016 specifically for younger or newer cyclists.

Meet our community riders Hamse, Liiban, and Tanveer. Attendees of Coach Chris’s tennis programme during secondary school, all are now pursuing further studies at university and college. The boys and Coach Chris completed Prudential RideLondon in 2016, with Liiban and Coach Chris cycling the full 100 miles. They cannot wait to get their 2017 training started.

Prudential RideLondon 2017

“If I had tried the Ride alone, I wouldn’t have made it.” – Liiban

The main motivator for this close group of friends is each other. They will provide each other with an important source of support during the ride- not to mention competition! This year, Liiban is leading the group’s training, and plans to take them around the nearby Victoria Park. They will train with other local Greenhouse Sports community riders who are also participating in the event, giving them a chance to impart their wisdom as Legacy Riders. One of the major challenges they will come up against is that the peak of their training falls during Ramadan. However, they are all determined to beat last year’s times!

The St Paul’s Way Trust days…

Hamse, Liiban, and Tanveer are a self-labelled “package deal – where one goes, the others follow.” Friends since they started in the same tutor group at St Paul’s Way Trust School in Tower Hamlets, this lively group are in high spirits as they reminisce on their school days. Liiban says: “When I think about school, the first thing that comes to my mind is tennis.”

In Year 9, they started playing tennis for fun. Over time, they steadily grew more serious about playing, and became closer as a group. Hamse says, “Tennis strengthened our bond.” Tanveer notes that: “It was Coach Chris’s dedication that kept us coming back. When we started, we weren’t the best. But Chris was dedicated to helping us hone our skills.”

They began to train every day as a group, coming to sessions before and after school. Chris laughs about it: “They’re my highly entertaining and dedicated group. They all absolutely love tennis. After they left the programme in the evenings, they would go down and play at the courts down the road!”

As a result, they were able to compete in the National Schools Tournament and the London Youth Games, going up against their fellow Greenhouse Sports participants at Cumberland School. Hamse, the joker of the group, quips that the thing that kept him coming back to the tennis programme was: “the trips! We got to go to Wimbledon every year, the ATP World Tour Finals, and even a surfing trip to Cornwall.”

All jokes aside, the group clearly love tennis and a big part of that is due to Coach Chris.

“No matter if you’re good or bad, Chris will be there supporting you.” – Liiban

Tanveer attributes improvements in his school work to tennis: “I used to not do very well, but when I started with Greenhouse Sports I started concentrating more in lessons. During tennis I had to be more aware of what I was doing, and this reflected in my work. Through coaching us, Chris taught us a bunch of skills that we didn’t even realise at the time. Like resilience – if we got really tired, she would always be there telling us to keep going.”

The group all have bright futures stretching out ahead of them. Liiban is currently studying Politics and Law at university, and has ambitions of working for the UN in order to help people. Also attending university, Hamse is studying Pharmaceutical Chemistry and is still deciding which career path to follow—accounting, law, or chemistry. Tanveer is undertaking a BTEC in IT at college, and plans to study computer science at university. The group intends to reunite every Saturday at Drummond Tennis Club in Wanstead, which has a link with Greenhouse Sports and sponsors membership for the young people.

“They all stick together and support each other. They’ve all had little blips but they’ve gotten through it, and even though they’ve all gone their separate ways there is still such camaraderie between them.” – Coach Chris

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