Back

Star trek: O'Driscoll and Habana take on fundraising challenge

22 May 2019: Over $400,000 raised for Laureus Sport For Good Through Challenge Africa Trek

Members of the Laureus family have joined 100 inspirational fundraisers from around the world to trek 100km and raised over $400,000 to date to support the work of Laureus Sport for Good.

Rugby legends Brian O’Driscoll, Bryan Habana and Jean de Villiers swapped their rugby boots for hiking boots to join experienced adventurer Annabelle Bond, South African TV personality Dan Nicholl and a group of inspiring people from around the world for the four-day trek through the stunning Drakensberg Mountain range.                   
Every cent raised by participants will go to support the work of Laureus programmes around the world: Active Communities Network (Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland), Coolplay (South Africa), Mathare Youth Sports Association (Kenya) and the grantees supported by the Model City Hong Kong initiative. Each of the programmes use sport as a tool to improve the lives of young people. From assisting them with education or employment to supporting young people with their mental health and wellbeing, all funds will be put to good use in bringing to life the positive power of sport.
Drakensberg-group-shot-3
17 May 2019: Spotting White Rhino, Giraffes and Zebra!
Day Three of Challenge Africa 2019 has seen the 100-strong group of Laureus Sport for Good fundraisers trekking up a mountain and through a nature reserve.
The sun is shining on the Drakensberg National Park and our team of Laureus Ambassadors including, Brian O'Driscoll, Brian Habana and Annabelle Bond, have been lucky enough to sport White Rhino - after one of the guides tasted some dung by the trail to check how fresh it was! 
There was a steep climb to take in the incredible views of the wildlife below, which also included giraffes and zebra, before stopping for lunch at the top. 
The target for today's hike is 25km, which would mean the group have covered 75km - and will be well on course for the 100km by the end of their last day's walking tomorrow. 
To stay up to date with the latest from the trek, check out our Instagram story on @LaureusSport - where adventurer Annabelle Bond is taking centre stage today and sharing some of her endurance insights! 
#ChallengeAfrica2019 is all about raising money for Laureus Sport for Good programmes around the world, helping children transform their lives through the power of sport.  If you’d like to donate to support these great causes then click here.
16 May 2019: Powering through
After setting out to cover a punishing 28km on the first day of the Laureus Challenge Africa 2019 trek, our team smashed that target and managed an incredible 35km by nightfall. 
There were some very sore legs and blistered feet in camp that evening, with reports that the Laureus team's videographer had to be carried on horseback for much of the distance after setting off too hard! 
Fuelled by biltong and inspired by the outstanding beauty of the Drakensberg mountains, the group of 100 fundraisers were up again bright and early on Day 2 to get back at it. 
The Just Challenge trek splits into 4 teams, and Bryan Habana was leading the Green Team into the second leg. In a slightly worrying twist the radio in the minivan which brought the team back to the trek route from the overnight campsite was playing 'End of the road' by Boyz 2 Men as Habana leapt out to rally his troops. 
Led by their experienced local guides, Laureus Ambassadors Bryan Habana, Brian O'Driscoll and Annabelle Bond encouraged their groups across wide plains on a mainly flat 15km. They got to see the impressive Nandi's Falls and Hlatikulu Forest as they headed for the evening campsite, on the shores of a lake.
The evening was all abour sharing stories around the campfire, with Bryan and Brian talking about their rugby memories - with the Springbok revealing his dismay that the Irish captain who he idolised failed to swap jerseys with him after a match.
Remember you can see highlights of each day's trek via our Instagram story on @LaureusSport - where Bryan was taking charge of the feed on Day 2. 
#ChallengeAfrica2019 is all about raising money for Laureus Sport for Good programmes around the world, helping children transform their lives through the power of sport.  If you’d like to donate to support these great causes then click here.
Drakensberg-Challenge-Africa-group-shot-5
15 May 2019: Watch out for snakes!
And they’re off! International rugby stars Bryan Habana and Brian O’Driscoll are underway on the first leg of an epic 100km trek through South Africa’s Drakensberg Mountains.
The pair are leading a group of 100 amateur adventurers as they scale heights of up to 3000m across four days of hiking. Funds raised by the participants of Challenge Africa 2019 will support Laureus Sport for Good projects around the world.
On Tuesday night at the first camp, Mountain Splendour, there was a team briefing from local guides about the tricky terrain they will be facing. There were also a few warnings about the native wildlife to be on the look-out for, including leopards, jackals and poisonous snakes.
The first day of the trek will see the group cover a punishing 28km, and that meant a 5am start – just in time to see the sunrise over the jagged peaks of the Drakensberg National Park.
Bryan Habana is not underestimating the challenge ahead, “To say I’m going to have to lean on all the mental toughness I learnt while playing rugby is a massive understatement!”
Fellow Laureus Ambassador and former Springbok, Jean de Villiers has joined Day One of the challenge for an extra bit of moral support for the team. Also taking part are Laureus Ambassadors mountaineer Annabelle Bond and South African TV personality Dan Nicholl.
You can follow the latest from the trek on @LaureusSport, where each day a different Laureus Academy Member or Ambassador will be taking over our Instagram Stories feed - or via the hashtag #ChallengeAfrica2019. If you’d like to donate to support these great causes then click here.
Star trek: O'Driscoll and Habana take on fundraising challenge | Laureus
Drakensberg-Panorama-1
challenge_africa-graphic-news-2019
18 April 2019
Between them, Brian O’Driscoll and Bryan Habana have amassed 262 international caps, scored 114 international tries, won a Rugby World Cup and climbed no mountains. Next month, that will all change as the Laureus legends swap rugby boots for hiking boots and trek 100km through South Africa’s Drakensberg Mountain range to raise funds for Laureus Sport for Good.
Brian and Bryan will be joined on the trek from 14 – 19 May by Laureus Ambassador Annabelle Bond, the fastest woman to climb all seven summits, Laureus Ambassador and South African TV personality Dan Nicholl and 100 inspirational fundraisers from around the world. Laureus Ambassador and South African rugby legend Jean de Villiers will also offer his support, seeing the participants off from camp on the first day of the trek.             
The Challenge Africa trek will test participants’ mental and physical stamina, taking them across steep and strenuous mountain passes, scaling to elevations of over 3,000m and trekking through a game reserve alongside zebras and antelope.              
All funds raised by participants on the trek will support the work of five Laureus-supported programmes around the world; Active Communities Network (Northern Ireland), Active Communities Network (Republic of Ireland), Coolplay (South Africa), Mathare Youth Sports Association (Kenya) and Model City Hong Kong.
Getty Images
25 March 2019
Rugby star Brian O’Driscoll never shirked a challenge on the rugby pitch and he is going to need every ounce of his endurance powers later this year as he takes on a gruelling challenge for Laureus.
Brian will be taking on Challenge Africa, a four day 100km fundraising trek through the Drakensberg Mountains to raise money for Laureus Sport for Good. Laureus Academy Member O’Driscoll will be joined by Ambassador and adventurer Annabelle Bond, as well as 100 other fundraisers who sign up.
Last week O’Driscoll visited Active Communities Network (ACN) in Dublin, which is one of the five Laureus-supported programmes around the world who will benefit from Challenge Africa. There, he undertook a training session with an unforgiving personal trainer and an even more unforgiving group of young people from ACN.
O’Driscoll panted, “The kids really put me through my paces today! They come from all sorts of backgrounds and have encountered all sorts of challenges in their lives and to give them a helping hand goes a long way. It’s daunting to take on Challenge Africa. I’ve taken on some hostile environments in South Africa in my career, but this is maybe the biggest challenge I’ve faced!”
Laureus will be following O’Driscoll's journey throughout the challenge. For more information, also visit www.just-challenge.com/africa2019