- By: Grant Blakeway
- Short URL: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/melokuhle
My name's Grant Blakeway. I'm 58 years old.
In December 2020, I'm going to row 3000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. In a small boat. Alone.
Why? Because there's one thing I know for sure after years of living near the sea: our marine ecosystems are in real trouble. The evidence is all around us... Beaches with more scraps than shells. Whales with stomachs full of plastic.
We're all responsible, in one way or another, for the pollution that threatens our oceans today. I believe we can change the status quo. I believe we can make a difference. We can. And we must.
I've entered the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge for the platform, not the prestige. This unique event is supported by millions of people around the globe. People like you. People like me. Citizens with the power to speak up, to step up, and to take action.
I'm not a professional rower. I'm not a competitive athlete, either. I'm a husband. I'm a father. One day, I'll be a grandpa. But I cannot be a spectator while our oceans are in peril.
My team name - Melokuhle - means "stand for good" in isiZulu. It's what I strive to do every day. And I hope I can inspire others to do the same, in pursuit of healthier, more resilient oceans.
With this BackaBuddy campaign, I aim to cover race expenses only, including:
- The boat, plus the equipment required to make it race-ready
- Satellite phone and airtime
- Race entry fee
- Compulsory training courses
I'm honoured to support three organisations with a shared interest in the education, development, and mentorship of South Africa's future ocean defenders: White Shark Projects in Gansbaai, the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation in Cape Town, and the Maritzburg College Foundation in Pietermaritzburg.
White Shark Projects' Recycle Swop Shop cultivates environmental awareness while supporting the Masekhane community. The Aquarium's Oceans In Motion outreach programme encourages marine conservation through education. And the College Foundation's Bursary Fund creates education opportunities for boys from all walks of life. Teaching tomorrow's leaders to appreciate the big blue is an important part of the mission to save our seas.
The proceeds from my various fund-raising initiatives will be distributed to my partner organisations by my campaign financial manager.
Visit my website - www.grantblakeway.com - for more details, and follow me on social media for updates about my race preparation, behind-the-scenes pictures and videos, beach cleanups, eco-awareness initiatives, fund-raising events, and practical tips for a greener, more ocean-friendly lifestyle.
I have to complete 1.5 million oar strokes to finish the 2020 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. But before I even begin that journey, I'm trying to achieve another milestone: the recycling of 1.5 million plastic bottles in KwaZulu-Natal.
Can you help? Learn more about getting involved.
Thank you for your support and encouragement!
- Jul 17, 2019 - R 100.00
- "Another 100 bucks for the 100km run" - Gareth
- Jul 15, 2019 - R 1 010.00
- "You will make Durban proud, Grant!" - Sally
- Apr 26, 2019 - R 610.00
- "Thanks for recycle bins. All the best! " - Sheppie High
- Mar 19, 2019 - R 514.10
- "This takes guts, Grant! All the best." - Colin
- Mar 18, 2019 - R 1 028.20
- "I'll be following your progress at the end of the year. Just keep rowing!" - JP
- Mar 18, 2019 - R 514.10
- "I've been following you on Facebook! Such a lot of hard work is going into this campaign. I hope your message inspires people to change the way they think about plastic. Best of luck for December!" - Barbara
- Mar 18, 2019 - R 514.10
- "You're a brave man, Grant! Good luck with your preparation!" - Pam
- Mar 14, 2019 - R 514.10
- "Here is something small to help start your campaign as i feel its for a great cause and we all need to do our share to keep our oceans clean." - Anonymous
Grant Blakeway Melokuhle Cause
One race. One rower. One reason.
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is the world's toughest row - a 3000-mile ocean crossing from the Canary Islands to the West Indies.
In December 2019, Grant Blakeway will step aboard a small boat to face Mother Nature's best and worst for up to 60 days.
Plastic pollution is devastating marine ecosystems all over the world. Melokuhle is a campaign to raise public awareness and inspire social action.
Please help spread the word