October 17, 2013
With just a few weeks to go until Ian Botham’s Beefy’s Big Sri Lanka Walk, we are delighted to announce four absolute legends of cricket will be coming along for the journey.
Sourav Ganguly, one of India’s greatest captains, and three legendary Sri Lankan cricketers - Mahela Jayawardene, Muttiah Muralitharan and Kumar Sangakarra - will support Ian as he walks from north to south across the country.
Funds raised from the Walk, staged with the backing of SriLanka Airlines and Sri Lanka Tourism, will go toward Sport for Development projects, including those operated by the Foundation of Goodness in Sri Lanka with the support of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
Sri Lanka’s legendary Muttiah Muralitharan, cricket’s greatest spin bowler with a world record 800 wickets, said: “[Ian’s] commitment to helping young people in Sri Lanka has been immense and on behalf of my country I thank him most sincerely …the least I can do is go and join him for some of the Big Beefy Walk, though I am told he is a difficult man to keep up with.”
Ian, a Laureus Academy Member, has a deep connection with the country.
Having played cricket and worked as a commentator there in his professional life, he also visited on behalf of Laureus after the tsunami of 2004.
The tsunami devastated parts of the country, killed 35,000 people and displaced over 500,000. Sir Ian was there to assess the situation and see what could be done to help, and saw how the creation of a sports-based project in the village of Seenigama could play a significant role in the rebuilding of the community.
Since then Laureus has worked with the Foundation of Goodness in Sri Lanka by providing funds and expertise to help build sports facilities and supply coaching for young people in the rural communities. Seenigama Sports has helped the region to recover its community spirit and rebuild lives, especially through the love of cricket.
Now, many years on, following the ending of the country’s civil war, Laureus, working again with the Foundation of Goodness, is supporting the creation of a second project, this time in the town of Mankulam, in the north of the country, helping children from the two communities to play sport together and to learn to live in harmony