Laureus legends last week led a 100-strong group of fundraisers over the Laureus Challenge 2022 presented by Sierra Space finish line after a four-day, 100-km trek through the mountains, deserts and valleys of the UAE.
When the dust settled and the blistered feet were soaked, Annabelle Bond, Nawal El Moutawakel, Chris Hoy, Steve Waugh and Bryan Habana could take comfort in another number: as more than $290,000 and counting was raised for charities including Laureus Sport for Good.
That fundraising will support the work of Laureus Sport for Good programmes across the world, each aimed at empowering young people and erasing violence, discrimination and disadvantage from their lives. Another legacy of the Challenge will be the memories which will last a lifetime:
Six-time Olympic cycling champion, Chris Hoy, said: “I don’t know what I expected, but this has been unforgettable.
“We trekked through the most incredible environments, camped out under the stars and I made a bunch of new friends. And after it’s all over, we’ve raised money that will change the lives of young people all over the world.”
“Am I looking forward to a few home comforts and a lot of rest? You bet,” said Steve Waugh, Australia’s World Cup-winning cricket captain. “That was tough, even for people who spent their whole career in elite sport, but all the aches and pains fade away next to the cause we were working for and the memories we made. I’ll never forget the last four days.”
“My feet were hurting me but I didn’t give up because Laureus is so dear to my heart,” said Nawal El Moutawakel. “We all pushed our bodies to the limit for an incredible cause as I know funds raised will make a real difference to the Laureus programmes around the world. I’m so thankful to all the people who joined us for the Challenge, and to Sierra Space for their incredible support.”
After conquering the Seven Peaks faster than any other woman and reaching the North Pole, Laureus Ambassador Annabelle Bond was the only member of the group with extensive experience of this kind of expedition.
Annabelle said: “There are not enough words to describe how I feel right now. Through the blisters and pain we raised an incredible amount of money which will help Laureus change the lives of young people around the world through the power of sport. I can’t thank the incredible people who joined the Laureus Challenge 2022 presented by Sierra Space enough, and I can’t wait for the next one!”
The Laureus Challenge was supported by the leading commercial space company, Sierra Space, and one of the highlights for the fundraisers was a campfire talk from former NASA astronaut Steve Lindsey, now one of Sierra Space’s Senior Vice Presidents, under perfectly dark desert skies.
“It’s one of the best views of the stars I’ve seen – from the Earth, anyway!” Steve said. “We see space as an opportunity to redefine what is possible – and our partnership with Laureus Sport for Good reflects that: everything we have achieved together on this Challenge will eventually bring change to the lives of thousands of young people all over the world. We’re proud to be part of their efforts to improve life on Earth for so many youths through sport and education.”
Laureus Academy Member Bryan Habana, who was in the audience for the astronaut’s talk, said: “Hearing Steve talk about the dream of commercial space travel was inspirational.
“It’s a reminder that we need to set our goals high. We did that on this challenge and it’s going to be wonderful to see the money we raise go through to all the incredible projects Laureus supports.”
The Laureus Challenge 2022, supported by Sierra Space, has so far raised more than $290,000 for Laureus Sport for Good. In 2021, Laureus Sport for Good supported projects in over 50 countries made a positive impact on the lives of over 250,000 children and young people.