Former Bok Stefan Terblanche completes gruelling 1460km rowing challenge

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Nov 12, 2019

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Close to 200 000 rowing strokes and 126 hours without sleep - former Springbok Stefan Terblanche and adventure athletes Mike Morris and Bruce Hughes have completed 1460km of rowing, the distance equivalent from Durban to Robben Island.

The trio completed the gruelling Ingane Yami Mandela Challenge on Sunday, having started on Tuesday on the rowing machines at the Ingane Yami Children’s Village in the Shongweni Valley just outside Durban. 

The village is home for orphaned and vulnerable children from the area, made up of individual homes with each having a caring foster mother and the marathon rowing challenge was to raise much needed funds for another home for six additional children. 

As soon as Terblanche, CEO of SA Rugby Legends Association, jetted in from the Rugby World Cup, he headed straight to the valley to join Morris and Hughes who had started rowing 16 hours previously. 

They continued to row in one hour shifts, while Terblanche was the impact rower during the late night and early morning hours which allowed Morris and Hughes to get some sleep. 

And there were a number of celebs sending good wishes as the three athletes sweated their way through 7560 minutes, including Jack Parow, Neil Breytenbach from Prime Circle and Francois Van Coke (former front man for rock band Fokofpolisiekar).

With the goal being 1460km, by Friday they had passed the 750km mark and by Saturday, the team had 100km left to complete. Despite the exhaustion, they kept going until they reached the final kilometre. 

On Tuesday, Terblanche said, “It seemed like a very daunting challenge at first, but we were so humbled by the support and messages we received throughout which really kept us going. 

“Bruce and Mike are machines. They just didn't stop and that was a big inspiration to me as well. Most of all, having the kids there and having one of them join us in the rowing for a bit was an amazing experience.”

He thanked Spar and Concept2 SA for supporting the challenge.

“The money raised is going to a very good cause. And it’s not too late for the public to make a difference either, you can still make a donation. No amount is too small,” said Terblanche. 

To make a donation towards the new home, contact Ingane Yami Marketing Manager, Patricia Deacon on 078 342 0539 or email [email protected]

Independent on Saturday

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