Tag: Laureus

Shark Project – Final Blog


The boat buzzes with Young Explorers, each with a job to leave Pangaea, our home for the past ten days, in a condition Mike is happy with, and we sit and reflect on the Pole2Pole Shark Project. To try and find one word to describe it would be difficult but the word that comes to mind is, ‘dynamic.’ The people we interacted with, our team and what we did were all remarkably, dynamic.

Working with Shark Spotters, the Laureus ‘Sport for Good’ Foundation, Waves for Change and GrassRoot Soccer gave our project a scientific and social aspect to our time here in Cape Town. It was both inspiring and motivating to work with such passionate and dedicated people in each of these organisations and gave us great hope for future change. The shark tagging expedition contributed valuable data to increase what we know about the seven-gill shark species here in South Africa and allowed Young Explorers the opportunity to be hands on in a once in a life time experience. The shark diving day allowed us to really interact with shark species in their natural habitat and was aimed at abolishing the negative stereotypes that the media associate with sharks. The second part of our project included engaging with local communities and allowed us an insight into a world that we are extremely sheltered from. These experiences are vital for global awareness and personal growth and allow us to identify key areas that require change as well as the tools in order to drive that change.

An unexpected positive impact of this project was the reunion of Young Explorers from different expeditions and from all around the world. Each person felt revitalized and our passion to drive social and environmental change was fuelled. Conversations were always inspiring and excitement for our future was tangible. Working as a team of Young Explorers is an extraordinary experience with dynamic individuals contributing a variety of skill sets and expertise to create something unique and highly impactful.

Ultimately, this project is just the beginning of many Pole2Pole projects to come. Our team of over 200 “Young” Explorers have grown to become veterinarians, scientists, journalists, communicators, and everything in between. Mike will be completing his extraordinary circumnavigation of the planet for the next two years; our fundamental aim is to utilize our diverse group of young people to drive the environmental and social change that the world needs.

Education is the Key



Education is the key,
Let us rewrite history,
On the fields we will learn,
And our lives will take a turn.

Grassroots Soccer is the place,
Where we begin to chase,
Our dreams, big or small,
We are supported through it all.

Laureus Foundation run the show,
And enable us to grow,
Self confidence and respect,
Their involvement is direct.

From land to sea we travelled,
Our love for surf unravelled.
Uncontainable joy and pride,
When we get up for the ride,
To stand up for ourselves,
Into our full potential we delve.

Working with local groups,
Rallying international troops,
When we all come together,
We create bonds that we’ll treasure.

United by our common goal,
We all need to play our role,
Give more, consume less,
Let’s clean up this mess.


These poems were inspired by our activities today which included joining the Grassroots Soccer Programme and Waves for Change surfing programme in the Khayetlisha Township, just outside of Cape Town. We were moved by how the Laureus team use these sports to both instil life skills as well as build confidence in the youth. We were overwhelmed by how much joy and love the children had to give and thoroughly enjoyed interacting with them on the soccer field and in the waves. Our team took away many learnings and insights including the power of sport as a means of uniting and connecting people and the ability to empower through creating a sense of belonging.

It’s encouraging to know this isn’t country specific and we’re excited about how we can all better utilise sport to connect and empower our communities.

By Leni Greundl & Saskia Bauer

When was the last time you sang or danced, wholeheartedly, like a child?


As young explorers, we usually pride ourselves on our enthusiasm but the young South Africans we met today really took it to the next level. Kids from local townships greeted us at the beach with a cheerful chant and a dance before asking us to join in. We were all surprised and reluctant to make a fool of ourselves (apart from Chris) at first but we soon got into the groove.

These children face difficult situations in their homes including violence and sexual abuse, yet the smiles on their faces became contagious. The afternoon we spent with them was a reality check for a lot of us because we sometimes complain about small things at home.

Together we spent several hours collecting rubbish on the beach in the morning. Straws, plastic bags and condoms were among the many things we found in the sand. In total, we filled about 20 rubbish bags full of things that could have ended up in the water.

Although we went to the beach with the intention of teaching the kids about picking up rubbish to keep our oceans clean, we left with a deeper message. No matter how tough life can get, a smile always goes far.


STRAW: Up to 200 years


LIGHTERS: 100 years


PLASTIC BAG: 150 years

BOTTLE CAP: 30 years

PLASTIC BOTTLE: From 100 to 1000 years



CONDOMS: 6 months to 4 years

GLASS: 4000 years

POLYSTYRENE: 1000 years


By Shaya Laughlin & Andrea Lavarello

Mike is in a constant state of travel and adventure , so keep up to date on all his expeditions !