For little Kumara, aged eight, it was the best day of her young life as she became the centre of attention when Laureus World Sports Academy Member and Olympic legend Steve Redgrave visited the Foundation of Goodness community sports project in Sri Lanka.
Kumara - full name Kumara Wadu Parami Apsara - is the winner of a worldwide drawing competition. Her design is engraved into the case back of the Portofino Chronograph Edition Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, a special edition watch from IWC Schaffhausen. Five-time Olympic gold medal winning rower Steve Redgrave travelled to Seenigama, Sri Lanka, to congratulate the youngster and hand over her prize.
It is the sixth time that IWC Schaffhausen has selected a model from its collection as a means of supporting the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. On each occasion, youngsters from Laureus-supported projects around the world have taken part in the drawing competition. This year the jury selected the illustration by Kumara, who interpreted the theme of the competition - ‘Time to Inspire’ - with a picture showing four young girls happily playing sport and enjoying themselves. The engraving is a reminder that a portion of the proceeds from sales will help disadvantaged children around the world.
Steve Redgrave said: “I have taken part in some important and exciting Laureus events since I became a member of the Laureus Academy but I think being able to travel to Sri Lanka to meet young Kumara and give her this prize was one of the best moments I have had. You could see the delight in her eyes and the pride in what she had achieved. It’s wonderful to think that the drawing she has made will travel around the world on the back of this watch from IWC and raise money to help other youngsters like her. It is a perfect example of how Laureus can give opportunities to young people that they would not normally get. I wish her all the best in the future as I do all the kids that I met in Sri Lanka.”
Kumara is a participant in the Seenigama Sport for Life project. She was born shortly before the tsunami in December 2004 which devastated the area around Galle in Sri Lanka and which led the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation to support the Seenigama project which helped to rebuild community spirit in the aftermath of the disaster. Kumara received a laptop as her prize and there was also a donation to the project from IWC Schaffhausen.
The Portofino Chronograph Edition Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in stainless steel is available in a limited edition of 2,500 watches. Designed in characteristic Laureus blue, it is a symbol of hope for a better future.