Former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh, member of the Laureus Academy who is known for his charity work, will be in the UAE in his trekking boots. Image Credit: AFP

Abu Dhabi: Australian cricket icon Steve Waugh, British Olympic legend Chris Hoy, South African rugby hero Bryan Habana and world record mountaineer Annabelle Bond will lead a group of 100 fundraisers for the Laureus Challenge 2022 - a 100km trek through the United Arab Emirates from November 14-19 this year.

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 winner 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 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 Sharjah. 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 in Qatar.

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.

Fantastic cause

Hoy said in a statement: “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.”

Waugh 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!”