The extreme athlete who built a home for orphans in six days – without moving

The extreme athlete who built a home for orphans in six days – without moving

Two friends who share a passion for helping those less fortunate, Bruce Hughes and Mike Morris, will attempt the impossible.


Bruce Hughes moves back and forth, yet goes nowhere. His arms and legs are constantly at work, pulling and pushing with rhythmic force. Yet when Hughes rowed on a stationary machine for six days straight, covering 1,460 kilometres, he went further than he thought he could to raise funds for South Africa’s most vulnerable children. 

“Not everybody has the home they deserve,” Hughes says. But at Ingane Yami Children’s Village in Shongweni, orphans are given a house complete with foster parents and siblings. When Hughes heard about the initiative in 2013, he immediately fell in love with the heart of the organisation and wished to see it grow. “It’s a great start and a great foundation to creating future leaders for our country,” he says. Having just completed the Atacama Crossing, a 250-kilometre marathon in the Atacama Desert, Hughes realised he could use his passion for extreme sports to help Ingane Yami. 

In 2019, Hughes and his friends, Stefan Terblanche and Mike Morris, alternated turns to stationary row, completing the equivalent distance from the children’s village to Robben Island. The motivation behind this feat kept them going. “I know these children face even harder challenges every single day,” Hughes says. Their stunt raised enough funds to build two new buildings that each house six children. “Everybody can give back and everybody can make a difference, even if it’s a very small way,” Hughes says.

How do you give back? Discover how this rower changed the lives of South Africa’s most vulnerable children. Watch the video below:

IMAGE: Beautiful News

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