Ian Botham blogs ahead of his ambitious Beefy's Big Sri Lanka Walk in support of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation
September 24, 2013
There was something special about launching my upcoming Beefy Walk across Sri Lanka in the country itself recently.
It was certainly great to meet the people there who have supported me in getting this challenge off the ground, such as my friends Kumar Sangakkara, Kushil Gunasekara and everyone at SriLankan Airlines, but it was also another inspiring reminder as to why I’m so passionate about succeeding.
This really will be my most challenging walk yet.
I have strong connections to Sri Lanka and I know if I can raise a lot of money it is going to do so much good for young people there as we plan to help rebuild an entire community in the north as we have in the south already with Laureus and the Foundation of Goodness, the two charities who will be benefitting from the walk.
But I know this won’t be easy. In fact, it’s going to be like nothing I have ever attempted before.
It will be arduous in the extreme, with fierce heat in challenging tropical conditions. And nor is the schedule forgiving either, but I am determined nothing is going to stop me from completing the Walk.
That’s because I know the hardships my walk offers me will be nothing compared to those faced by so many people of Sri Lanka in recent years.
The north was the hardest hit by the civil war, and the Tsunami of 2004 devastated parts of the south. This act of god alone killed 35,000 people.
I will never forget the mother who told me how, clinging to her two children as the tsunami waters threatened, she was forced to choose which she would let go in order to save at least one of them.
It is an image worse than any nightmare most of us could imagine.
Stories like these are too many to count, and one man alone can make only so much difference.
That is why I am asking all of you reading this to get involved as well and really help make a difference to the people of a country that has already suffered too much.
Whether it’s helping us spread the word on Twitter or facebook, or pledging whatever you can on our donation page, it will help make this the biggest success it can be. Just check out the #beefysbigsrilankawalk hashtag to join in the conversation.
And look out in the next few weeks for a really exciting way of getting involved in the Beefy Walk yourself, wherever you are!
Finally, a great many organisations and people have been working hard for a long time to put my Sri Lanka Walk together and I would like to thank them. They have all shown their commitment to help young people and I could not be here launching the Walk today without them.
For more information on Ian's upcoming Beefy's Big Sri Lanka Walk, visit the website here!