A COUPLE of residents from Old Woking had a rather royal engagement last week, and now they are gearing up to make a real noise for Britain’s bravest.
Tawanda Mukoko, 25, and his sister Chido, 16, have been nominated as ambassadors of the 2014 Invictus Games – their recommendation coming from none other than Prince Harry.
More than 400 competitors from 14 nations take part in the Games, an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.
A group of teens, of which Digital Project Manager Tawanda was an adult supervisor, were drilled on how to use social media to promote the showcase, which will be held in London from September 10 to 14. Proud Tawanda said: “We were given training and spent the day with the Prince before we were presented with certificates and officially became Digital Media Champions for the Games.”
It is the latest chapter in an incredible journey for Tawanda, who was born in Zimbabwe and spoke no English when he moved to the UK in 2002.
He went to study at Guildford College where he was named Vocational Student of the Year in 2008.
Six years on and Tawanda continues to rack up the notable achievements.
The Rydens Way resident said: “It was definitely one of the best moments in my life – not many people can say they have rubbed shoulders with Prince Harry and spent the whole day with him.
“He was very down to earth and just so real. He’s very passionate about the Games and wants everyone to know about them. It’s a way of saying thanks and motivating people to prove that, whatever disability or illness they may have, they can still be someone.”
During his address at the certificate presentation, Prince Harry said to Tawanda and the other ambassadors that supporting the four-day Games would be an amazing weekend.
He told the 60-strong group who had gathered at Bethnal Green Academy in East London: “We’re very short on time. It’s going to happen; what are we – a month-and-a-half away from the actual Games?”
“The more noise and the more enthusiasm you guys can get behind the Invictus Games [the better] – get your friends involved, buy some tickets, come down and scream and shout.
“I promise you, you will not regret it. It will be the most amazing weekend of your lives.”