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CEO of the South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA), Stefan Terblanche, hasn’t showed any signs of slowing down following his successful rugby career. Hot on the heels of his trip to Japan to serve on the World Rugby Judiciary Panel on Foul Play, Stefan got straight off the plane and stepped up for charity in a physically demanding stationary rowing challenge for a great cause.

Stefan has joined local adventure athletes, Bruce Hughes and Mike Morris, as they collectively row 1460KM, non-stop, in the Ingane Yami Mandela Challenge.

That’s equivalent to the distance from Durban to Robben Island. All proceeds generated by this epic rowing journey will be donated to Ingane Yami Children’s Village in the Shongweni Valley, Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Ingane Yami provides a permanent, loving home for orphaned and vulnerable children from the surrounding area. The Village is made up of individual homes that are cared for by carefully selected foster mothers, each of whom have six children under their roof.

The homes are also supported by a village pastor, qualified teachers and a dedicated support team on-site.

The Ingane Yami Mandela Challenge aims to raise enough funds to build an additional home for six children in the village. The target is R450 000, and Stefan, Bruce and Mike have been at it non-stop since 9:00 yesterday morning. In the first 24 hours alone, they covered just over 260KM, putting them slightly ahead of the 250KM needed to cover the total distance by Sunday, 10 November.

Bruce and Mike are rowing on a rotational basis in one-hour shifts, while Stefan takes over as the impact rower during the tough late night and early morning hours. This allows Bruce and Mike to sleep for six hours. Spar is sponsoring food for the duration of the challenge to keep them going, as the clock continues to tick.

Bruce and Mike are also no strangers to physical challenges, having run a six-stage ultra-marathon in 40-degree heat and completed the Elements Everest trail race – also in aid of Ingane Yami.

Stefan completed 37 tests for the Springboks from 1998-2003 and has also competed in the Absa Cape Epic, Sani2Sea, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and in 2018, he completed the world’s biggest expedition type adventure event, GODZone.

Stefan commented, “It’s a tough challenge and will definitely push all of us beyond our physical limits. But there are six lives that will be changed for the better when we finish.

That’s what keeps us going and our whole reason for doing this. We hope we can inspire others to make an effort for children who need help. I challenge South Africans to make a difference, any way they can, no matter how big or small. 

The Ingane Yami Mandela Challenge is happening right now at Ingane Yami Children’s Village. To come and see the rowers in action, or to make a donation, contact Patricia Deacon, Ingane Yami Marketing Manager, on 078 342 0539 or email her on tricia@inganeyami.com. No donation is too small.

Concept2 has provided the rowing machine and tracking equipment to keep tabs on the challengers’ distance from beginning to end. Follow them on Instagram, @concept2sa or visit www.concept2.com.

To keep track of the rowers’ progress in real time, go to racing.concept2.com/race/wpPjlq and click on “Hybrid View”. 

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