Athletics

The Ubunye Challenge was founded when Cameron and a motley crew of South Africans and Zimbabweans decided they wanted to cycle the length of the United Kingdom, swim the English Channel and row across an Ocean. They completed all of those endeavours under the banner of the Ubunye Challenge and continue to push their own athletic limits with the main purpose of building awareness to fulfill Ubunye's vision that every child in rural Southern Africa has access to a quality education.

Ubunye athletes participate in myriad types of athletic events from 10km runs to rowing to Antarctica - and everything in between!

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Barbados to St Lucia

Barbados to St Lucia

Cameron Bellamy departed from Barbados at 8:18 am on Friday September 13, 2019 and touched a rocky outcrop near Vieux Fort in St Lucia at 5:13 pm on Sunday September 15. He swam a distance of 150K. He was in the water for 56 hours and 55 minutes, 3 days and 2 nights. This was an “out of this world” ultra-endurance feat! He survived extreme heat, jellyfish stings, two sleepless nights, sunburn, a horrific case of “salt mouth” which left his lips hugely swollen and cracked, extreme fatigue and very sore shoulders. It was phenomenal. There are literally no words to adequately describe the exceptional story of Cameron Bellamy’s Caribbean swim – from Barbados to St. Lucia – the longest channel swim ever.

The Ocean 7

The Ocean 7

Cameron Bellamy completed his seven-year Oceans Seven journey in June 2018 when he made it across the Tsugaru Strait of Japan on his second attempt. He became the 11th person and the first African to complete this challenge of swimming seven of the toughest open water channel swims in the world. The Oceans Seven challenge is considered marathon swimming’s version of the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge. The seven channels present geographic and climatic diversity and a variety of extreme hardships including cold temperatures, strong currents, waves and wind and dangerous marine life. Intricate planning is needed to succeed. Bellamy’s quest to complete the Oceans Seven began in 2012 with a 35K swim across the English Channel. Then followed the Strait of Gibraltar (2015), the Catalina Channel (2015), North Channel (2016), Molokai Channel (2017), Cook Strait (2018) and Tsugaru Strait (2018).

Swim Around Barbados

Swim Around Barbados

In November 2018 Cameron Bellamy became the first person to complete the highly complex swim around the island of Barbados. His unprecedented swim began on a Sunday at about 11:20 am. Unbelievably, he swam continuously for almost 41 hours and completed the 96K swim two days later, at 4:06 am on a Tuesday. The seemingly impossible feat will be remembered forever by all who witnessed it. During the swim, Cameron faced challenges including huge waves that caused him to detour out to sea twice and painful “salt mouth” from the many hours in the sea. But he never faltered, remaining focused and maintaining his planned stroke rate. Thousands followed his progress across the globe via live tracking and on social media. A large and jubilant crowd welcomed him at the finish. He had done it. History had been created. Cameron Bellamy swam around Barbados!

Indian Ocean Rowing Expedition

Indian Ocean Rowing Expedition

On 11 June 2014 a team of 7 (including Ubunye’s founder, Cameron Bellamy, who rowed in the stroke seat of the boat for the duration of expedition) set off in a 45-foot rowing boat from Geraldton, Australia bound for the Seychelles. The team rowed 2 hours on/2 hours off (12 hours a day) for the entirety of the journey. On route they survived 50-foot waves during the tail end of hurricane, almost being run over by an oil tanker, a collision with a blue whale, interaction with west African pirates, amongst many other adventures. Rowing for 57 days, the team rowed a total of 6270 km (3,896 miles) and was awarded with 2 Guinness World Records for the fastest crossing of the Indian Ocean and the furthest distance ever rowed by a team.

Trans-Asia Cycling Expedition

Trans-Asia Cycling Expedition

Not knowing for being a cyclist, Cameron in August 2009 resigned from his job in finance in Beijing and, on a whim, brought a bicycle and cycled to Kanyakmari, the southerly most tip of India. A solo journey from Beijing through western China, into Central Asia, and down to the southernmost tip of India, Cameron covered 6500 km (4,039 miles) in slightly over four months. It was on this journey where Cameron hatched his idea for the Ubunye Challenge.