ROWING great Sir Steve Redgrave swapped his oars for a cricket bat on a trip to Sri Lanka last week to visit a project run by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
The five-time Olympic gold medallist was in Seenigama, near Galle, to present a prize to the winner of a Laureus competition to design the case back of a limited edition watch from IWC Schaffhausen.
Laureus Academy member Redgrave handed over a plaque and laptop to eight-year-old Kumara Apsara, whose drawing of girls playing sport will adorn the limited edition timepiece. Proceeds from sales will go towards supporting all the foundation’s projects worldwide.
While there Redgrave also delivered a motivational speech to 30 youngsters who take part in the initiative, set up to help rebuild the community in one of the regions devastated by the 2004 tsunami.
He also took to the crease to face some testing deliveries from youths on the cricket-mad island and proved his sporting prowess stretches beyond the confines of a rowing boat by stroking a handful of boundaries. Redgrave said: “I’ve taken part in some important and exciting events since I became a member of the Laureus Academy but being able to travel to Sri Lanka to meet young Kumara and give her this prize was one of the best.”