Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 27 July, 2022 – Sporting legends, record-breakers and Olympic heroes have been announced as the first of the sporting names taking part in the latest Laureus Challenge.
Australian cricketer Steve Waugh, British Olympic legend Chris Hoy, South African rugby icon Bryan Habana and world record mountaineer Annabelle Bond will lead a group of 100 inspirational fundraisers for the Laureus Challenge 2022, presented by Sierra Space, a 100km trek through the United Arab Emirates, from 14-19 November 2022.
The Laureus Challenge 2022 is delivered with leading commercial space company Sierra Space, which takes the title sponsorship of the Laureus Challenge 2022. The US-based company aims to enable affordable access to space, empowering existing and next generation businesses, entrepreneurs, researchers, and governments to create advancements in space that benefit life on Earth.
Steve Waugh, the Australian cricket legend who captained his country to successive World Cup victories in 1999 and 2003, will be joined on the Challenge by fellow Laureus Academy Members Chris Hoy – a six-time Olympic champion – and South African Rugby World Cup winning star Bryan Habana. They will be joined by and Laureus Ambassador and international adventurer Annabelle Bond, who became the fastest woman to climb all of mountaineering’s Seven Summits in 2003.
The four-day Challenge will begin in the globally significant Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, and involve trekking through sand dunes and the desert, into the Hatta Mountains and across the wadis (valleys) of the UNESCO World Heritage-nominated site of the Sharjah Emirate. The event kicks off an incredible month which places the UAE at the centre of the sporting world with the conclusion of the 2022 Formula 1 season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the DP World Tour Championship, followed by the start of the FIFA World Cup.
Laureus Challenge 2022 follows the success of Challenge Africa 2019, the 100km fundraising trek through the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa. The Challenge will be delivered by world-leading social impact platform, Force for Good who provide technology and experiences to help connect and engage communities for good. Through their partnership to date, Force for Good has raised over $500,000 USD for Laureus Sport for Good, with funds supporting Laureus Sport for Good’s mission to change the lives of young people through sport.
Tom Vice, Chief Executive Officer of Sierra Space, said: “Laureus celebrates sporting excellence and harnesses the power of sport to transform the lives of children and young adults. We are like-minded at Sierra Space. Our mission is to build platforms in space that will benefit and transform the lives of everyone here on Earth. We are delighted to support this year’s Laureus Challenge and share the true values of sport, which unite communities on Earth and will extend into low-Earth orbit as we enter the greatest chapter in human history, the Orbital Age.”
Chris Hoy, British Olympic cycling legend and Laureus Academy Member said: “Going off road through the desert is something cyclists would usually avoid, but the Laureus Challenge is something truly special and for a fantastic cause. I’m proud to be representing the Laureus Academy alongside Steve and Bryan, accompanied by 100 committed Challengers all making a difference through sport.”
Steve Waugh, Australian cricket legend and Laureus Academy Member, said: “I’m definitely more comfortable on the crease than in the desert, but I’m excited to be lacing up my trekking boots for the Laureus Challenge 2022. On behalf of the Laureus Academy, I’d like to thank Sierra Space for their support, their mission of collaborating to make the world a better place sits alongside our work at Laureus Sport for Good and I’m looking forward to meeting the team and the 100 inspirational participants for what is going to be an unforgettable and hugely rewarding week in the UAE later this year. Time to start training!”
Bryan Habana, Springboks legend and Laureus Academy Member, said: “I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Challenge Africa trek in my home country in 2019. For someone who is more familiar with short sprints than 100km treks, it certainly was a challenge! My overriding reflections from that trip are the people I met, the conversations we had and the memories we made together. One thing we have all missed over the last two years has been time spent in each other’s company, none more so than the young people in the many programmes Laureus Sport for Good support around the world. It’s going to be an incredible experience with an incredible group of people in the UAE in November, raising funds which will make an incredible difference to wonderful programmes using sport to change the world.”
Annabelle Bond, international adventurer and Laureus Ambassador, said: “I’m so proud to be taking part in this incredible Challenge alongside wonderful people from around the world. I’ve been fortunate enough to reach summits and climb mountains throughout my career, and trekking through the stunning UAE to raise funds for a cause so close to my heart means the world to me. Being part of the Laureus movement, Steve, Chris, Bryan and I have a collective belief in the positive impact sport can have and the Challenge later this year is sure to reinforce that message that for me.”
Globally, Laureus Sport for Good supports more than 275 programmes in 50 countries all of which use the power of sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage. Each programme Laureus supports is measured against charitable standards set out by the United Nations, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals
Sierra Space were selected by Laureus as the title sponsor of the Laureus Challenge 2022 due to the company’s innovative spirit at the forefront of exploration and pushing boundaries. As the leading commercial space company, Sierra Space’s innovations include Dream Chaser®, the world’s only winged, commercial spaceplane and the LIFE™ (Large Integrated Flexible Environment) space habitat for low-Earth orbit transportation and destinations. Sierra Space aims to enable affordable access to space, empowering existing and next-generation businesses, entrepreneurs, researchers and governments to create advancements in space that benefit life on Earth.
For more information and to apply to participate in the Laureus Challenge 2022 presented by Sierra Space, please complete the application form here. Spaces are strictly limited and successful applicants will be notified directly.