From the sand to the stars – Laureus Challenge 2022

Step inside the Laureus Challenge 2022 presented by Sierra Space where memories were made, friendships formed and thousands was raised for charities including Sport for Good
In the middle of the desert, all you can see is sand: merciless, drifting, scalding sand. And a tree. One modest, bare tree, lazily reaching out just enough to provide a broken circle of shade, the only shade for miles around. And under that tree, on the final day of the Laureus Challenge 2022, huddled one World Cup-winning cricket captain and a dozen or so of the 100 fundraisers who had embarked on a four-day, 100km trek across the punishing landscape of United Arab Emirates.
This adventure was supported by Laureus’ event partner Sierra Space, and their ‘Dreams Worth Chasing’ campaign – a celebration of those who dream big by a company whose mission is to bring us closer to the stars. Well, here was that idea in an image. Our adventurers had a goal: to raise as much money as possible for charities including Laureus Sport for Good. To realise that goal, they would have to get out of their comfort zone.
As of now, over $330,000 has been raised – the hard way. Across desert, mountains and valleys, in searing heat, the Laureus Challenge was a stern test even for the Laureus sporting legends of the who led the group, including Chris Hoy, Bryan Habana, Annabelle Bond, Nawal El Moutawakel and Steve Waugh, who briefly sought out the shade when the sun was at its height.
“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,” said Waugh, who shares the record for most Test appearances in Australian cricket. “I’ll never forget the last four days.”
That experience was not just one of endurance, of miles spent trekking through soft sand and clambering up unforgiving rock. Memories were made and friendships formed. And when our adventurers were feeling the heat, inspiration was at hand.
Steve Lindsey is a vastly experienced former NASA astronaut and now one of Sierra Space’s Senior Vice Presidents. Representing the presenting sponsor of the Laureus Challenge, he gave an illuminating talk beneath the desert stars, sharing with his audience the personal footage he shot during one of his many missions in space.
“The desert nights gave me some of the best views of the stars I’ve seen – from the Earth, anyway!” said the veteran of five NASA missions. “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 adventure will eventually bring change to the lives of thousands of young people all over the world. We’re proud to be part of their story.”
Before departing for the Laureus Challenge, Chris Hoy, a six-time Olympic gold medallist explained the inspiration for his legendary sprint cycling career was also in the stars – as a child he saw the scene in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, where a group of children are transported through the night sky on their bicycles.
He may have felt a little envious hearing Steve’s stories, but Chris crossed the finish line with his mission accomplished. “This has been unforgettable,” he said. “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.”

With blisters on their feet, a sense of accomplishment in their hearts, and a glass of champagne in their hands, our group of intrepid fundraisers marked their achievement with a celebration they must have been dreaming about in camp. And by the time they said their goodbyes to each other and made their way home, the money raised by their adventure was already coming in. In 2023, it will find its way to Laureus Sport for Good programmes around the world.


Which might be enough to persuade some of them to sign up for the next edition of the Laureus Challenge.

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