October 22, 2013
Morné du Plessis, one of the great names of South African rugby, is to join his fellow Laureus World Sports Academy Member Sir Ian Botham on his most challenging walk for charity yet, across Sri Lanka.
Morné, who was manager of the Springboks team which won the Rugby World Cup in 1995 and is now Chairman of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in South Africa, will team up with England cricket legend Sir Ian on his epic attempt to walk from Kilinochchi in the north of the island to Seenigama in the south next month.
Funds raised from Beefy’s Big Sri Lanka Walk, staged with the backing of SriLankan Airlines and Sri Lanka Tourism, will go to help sports-based community projects, including those operated by the Foundation of Goodness in Sri Lanka with the support of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
Morné said: “Nothing Sir Ian Botham does surprises me, but his latest challenge is certainly something exceptional. Ian is a passionate and determined supporter of the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and as a Laureus Academy Member myself the least I can do is go and join him for some of the Big Beefy Walk.
“The charity walks he has undertaken – especially John O’Groats to Land’s End so many times – are the mark of the man and his commitment to help people wherever he can. He is a good man and I will be doing my best to support him and our Laureus projects in Sri Lanka.
“I am told he is a tough man to keep up with on these walks, but I will be doing my best to hang on for as long as I can, and I already know he will tease me about how soft us rugby guys are!”
Since the mid-1980s, Sir Ian has taken part in a series of high profile walks, but he admits that the 160 miles route from Kilinochchi to Seenigama, which he will attempt from November 1 – 8, will be his most challenging yet.
Four great Indian and Sri Lankan cricketers - Sourav Ganguly, Mahela Jayawardene, Muttiah Muralitharan and Kumar Sangakarra – have also announced that they will be joining Sir Ian.
Sir Ian says: “Without doubt this is going to be the toughest walk I have ever undertaken. It’s going to be hot and humid, but I am going to do it. I am hoping to raise lots of money and awareness because I know it’s going to do so much good for young people in Sri Lanka. Having Morné and the cricket guys alongside me will be a big encouragement.”