Last month RedBrain set quite the challenge in our Strava Club on social platforms - could we get 100 people to ride over 100km each in a week? We would donate £10k to ClientEarth if this goal was reached. ClientEarth are a non-profit using the power of the law to bring about end-to-end systemic change: informing, implementing and enforcing the law, drafting and advising decision-makers on policy, building legal expertise, and ensuring citizens’ access to the laws that defend them.
We also added an extra £5k in the pot to be split into various prizes that would be donated to each of our lucky winners chosen charities. The biggest challenge of the event was the first 3 prizes based on the longest individual collective distances of our riders for the week. First prize was £1500 for the person who clocked up the most km to donate to their designated charity.
We couldn’t imagine how eventful this would be! The battle between 1st and 2nd place went to the line with our victorious winner Shameeg Salie taking the win with an incredible 1000.9km cycled within the week. We are so grateful to all of our 150 participants who managed to cycle a collective distance of just over 24,000km. Not only were they all involved in a successful challenge but they have given us the opportunity to highlight inspiring stories and benefit some very worthy charities.
Shameeg our winner’s story in his own words.
“I am Shameeg Salie from Grassy Park in City Cape Town, South Africa. My area is filled with gangsterism and drugs. Waking up to gunshots in the middle of the night is not the best feeling and then to hear your neighbour was shot 9 times. So going out to train you always have to watch your back. I am really thankful to have a sport of this kind to allow you to travel and dream, and keep you off the streets.
I have just turned 25 years old and sacrificed my birthday to take on the RedBrain Challenge. Why did I do that? Simple, I grew up in a situation where things are not just handed to you on a silver platter. You literally have to ‘hustle’ to get some form of income and having people on board to give you that 5% boost makes things a little bit easier.
So when I heard that the winner gets funding for the charity of their choice I was fully committed because I know how much it’s needed for various things such as education, sports, and simple things such as the internet for kids to use while completing assignments or watching live cycling races just to keep them off the streets. So I guess my ‘why’ was much greater than many taking on this competition, as I have first-hand experience on a daily basis.
I have been cycling for 8-9 years and have been part of many local teams as well as an international team, trying to chase my dreams and make them a reality. I have also been to the highest level of the sport including the World Championships and it was such a great experience and opportunity. It has given me a different outlook on life, what the competition holds, and how hard one needs to train.
I faced an illness that had me switch my focus and I started studying sports management. Thankfully the Buffalo Foundation stepped in and supported me through this journey and now I find myself working with them, giving back but also making a difference.
Today I have a Diploma in Sport Management one of my biggest achievements to date. The feeling of having some form of paperwork behind my name feels really good as many can’t afford to go to college but also get trapped in society, whereas I continue to grow and push myself on and off the bike.”
The Buffalo Foundation – RedBrain donates £1500 winner prize.
The Buffalo Foundation aims to make a lasting difference to those people less fortunate than ourselves through sport, education and the creation of future entrepreneurs. Especially children and young adults living in poverty. Young people denied the opportunities to become the best they can be, or even to just live a normal, healthy and happy life.
The foundation’s objective is to reach as many of these people as possible, so that they can break that cycle of poverty, reach their potential, be self-sufficient and in turn, give back to their own communities.
Here at RedBrain we couldn’t be happier to have had the opportunity to benefit such a worthy cause. We also want to say a huge thank you to all who participated to make this a really fun event.