Beefy Walk for Laureus sets off in true Sri Lankan style

Young children lined the hot tarmac road waving in laughter. The sounds of traditional Sri Lankan Musicians, dressed in gold and silver and red filled the air. Soldiers marched, with only the occasional smile breaking from their faces to show their secret excitement.

Today, Beefy's Big Sri Lanka Walk took its first steps today in truly unforgettable fashion.

Hundreds of people, both walkers and spectators alike, filled the streets in the heart of Sri Lanka's Kilinochchi area to witness a cricket legend start his most ambitious charity walk to date.
A very warm welcome for Sir Ian Botham in Sri Lanka
Sir Ian Botham will be walking 160 miles in the unforgiving Sri Lankan heat, a challenge matched only by the intense humidity he will face as well.

But, luckily for Ian, he has some company along the way.

And along with his committed fellow walkers, one particularly special sport friend set off with him as the first steps of the Beefy charity walk were taken this morning.

Sri Lankan cricket star Mahela Jayawardene was the first celebrity star to take to the walk. And after a (very tiring) morning of walking, Mahela was more impressed with Beefy than ever.

Mahela said: "It was a tough walk to be honest with you. I did 15 k probably and was struggling so hats off to Sir Ian he did the whole thing, its brilliant.

But the Sri Lankan was equally impressed, and grateful, with the charitable effort that lies at the heart of the walk: "It's great that he chose Sri Lanka, it's a great occasion, the funds he's raised through the walk, it's touched a lot of people. But he's one of my idols as well, growing up, watching him play so it was great to be part of his walk."

Keep tuned to and @LaureusSport on Twitter for pictures, videos and more from the Beefy Walk until November 9th.

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