September is all about our excitement and preparation for the second edition of the Orbis Challenge.

This year Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes will return to Malawi supported by the British High Commissioner in Malawi. The retired Olympic gold medallist will trail run alongside both British and Malawian professional athletes.

Last year, the inaugural challenge consisted of a 25km run, a 30km cycle and 25km kayak in Mulanje, Zomba Plateau and Cape Maclear respectively. This year, the participants will visit the same areas, but this time around they will focus on trail running in each of these destinations.

VN Happy Mulanje Start Line3

Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes runs Mulanje mountain with 2018 Orbis Challenge team mates. Photo credit Venetia Norrington

What does this mean for Malawi?

The Orbis Challenge’s theme is “Sport with a Purpose” making sure that each challenge is linked to a cause uplifting the lives of Malawians in need. As a responsible tour operator, our priority when creating itineraries is giving back to the communities that are visited. This year the runners in the Orbis Challenge will raise money to provide a nutritious meal for up to 550 young children for 12 months through Open Arms Malawi situated in Mangochi and Blantyre. The organisation manages infant and foster homes, nursery schools and outreach programs. Children in need are referred to Open Arms by Social Welfare Department and hospitals. At Open Arms, they are provided with medical care, shelter and nourishment. Through this support, these children grow up healthy and strong and are reunited with their home communities.

 VN Pre Mulanje Run Kelly Laughing 2

What does this mean for the UK?

The Orbis Challenge has become an inspirational sports initiative, challenging the mindsets and physical fitness of athletes across the UK. They are motivated, not only to take part in this challenge in order to improve the living standards of the less fortunate, but they are able to challenge themselves to perform at maximum capacity in a completely different environment halfway across the globe. The terrain that Malawi holds is a new experience for each athlete, and a new story to add to their journal. It is no longer about running track through the same pitch; it has taken on a whole new meaning and more people are becoming keen on this experience.

Keep up to date with The Orbis Challenge by following us on Instagram @rscmalawi


Images courtesy of Venetia Norrington 

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