Looking ahead to the 2019 Strive Challenge

Cyclists stood with their bikes at the start of the race
Image by Adam Slama
Virgin Galactic
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 2 September 2019

September marks one of my favourite events in the calendar – the annual Strive Challenge. This year marks the 6th annual challenge and I’m excited to take part again alongside my son Sam and nephew Noah.

Strive is a series of extraordinary physical endurance challenges designed to unify people with a shared purpose and raise funds for Big Change – a non-profit organisation set up by my children to incubate innovative education projects that help young people thrive.

The Strive Challenge team cheering
Adam Slama

  Sam and Noah came up with the idea for the Strive Challenge back in 2014 while chatting in the kitchen. It’s amazing to see how this idea has evolved over the years and reflect on the impact it has created.

To date, Strive has raised over £4.5 million for Big Change and the challengers have combatted over 6,000 km of terrain.   I’ve been training all year for the upcoming Alpine Strive Challenge next week which will involves a five day hike, swim, cycle, climb and paraglide through the Alps.

To get in top form, I’ve been doing daily weight sessions and stretch band training on top of my usual tennis, kitesurfing and cardio regime. I’ve also been working on my upper body strength after Will Smith challenged me to a pull-up competition.

From the intense physical, mental and emotional challenge – Strive builds a bond like no other. Challengers are united toward a common goal and energised by the group’s comradery and underlying purpose to support Big Change and help give kids equal chances of success in life.

Richard hugging Strive team members on the Strive challenge
Image by Virgin.com

Every year, the challenge pushes us to the absolute edge of our human capability and reminds us that we need to be daring and go to reach new heights if we want to create lasting change.  

As the motto philosophy of the Strive Challenge goes: “Growth happens when you step out of your comfort zone; magic happens when you do it with others.”   I’m excited to see what magic is in store next week. Stay tuned!