Beefy’s Big Walk 2013 to hit Lankan roads in November

Friday, 16 August 2013 06:28 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Shabiya Ali Ahlam Beefy’s Big Walk will take place in Sri Lanka this November, the first time the event is being held outside the United Kingdom. Initiated by renowned cricketer Sir Ian Botham, the event was officially launched yesterday in Colombo in the presence of popular national cricketers, youth volunteers and officials from SriLankan Airlines and Sri Lanka Cricket. Organised by the Laureus Foundation of the UK, Tharunyata Hetak and Sri Lanka Youth, Beefy’s Big Walk in Sri Lanka will take place from 1 to 8 November 2013. In an attempt to bring about change in the lives of those affected by the tsumani and the war via Foundation of Goodness, Sir Botham will walk from the north, starting from Kilinochchi, all the way to Galle, to the village of Seenigama. “This is going to be the toughest walk yet, being the first outside the UK, and I will be walking under high temperatures of about 40 degrees and high humidity. The heat is going to be a testing factor. It’s going to be a hard walk but I hope to have some good fun,” said Sir Botham. He revealed that he will walk on A-roads through local towns and villages, averaging 20 miles a day. Highlights along the route will include major cricket venues such as Dambulla, Kandy and the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Joining the walk to help keep the public engaged in the project will be renowned cricketers such as Brian Lara, Sarav Ganguly, Kapil Dev, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena. It was stated that MP Namal Rajapaksa with his Parliamentary colleagues will also join Sir Botham on his fundraising initiative. When questioned how much Beefy’s Big Walk will raise, Sir Botham said it is kept open. “I never put a figure on it. If I say Rs. 1 million, once we reach that target, people will stop donating. We want to raise as much as possible,” he said. “By the way, we are very good at highway robbery,” Sir Botham quipped. Explaining what inspired him to have the walk in Sri Lanka, he said: “When I came here after the tsunami, I had never seen anything like that before in my life. The region was just devastated. Not just buildings and cities but the people as well. When I came down at the time, I wanted to extend help in whatever way I could. The people were still in a state of shock. The great thing we did was bringing everybody back together. That is exactly what sport is about, bringing people together through teamwork.”