Sri Lanka Cricketer, Niroshan Dickwella: "I'm not ashamed, I will talk about God to anyone"


Read all about the life of Sri Lanka Wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella, hear about what it’s like to be a Christian in Sri Lanka, and his pride at representing his country:

How special is it to play Cricket for Sri Lanka?

“There are 22 million people living in Sri Lanka and only 11 can go out and play in a single match, so I’m really glad and proud that I am one of them at the moment, when you wake up in the morning you feel proud of yourself, every time. It’s a great opportunity to make your country proud.”

Growing up who was your sporting role model?

“Kumar Sangakkara was my role model because he was a wicket-keeper, he was left-handed and went to my school as well, he’s from Kandy. That made me follow him and I had number 11, his jersey number when I was playing for the Sri Lanka Under 19’s. Eventually I had to change my number because I played with him!”

What’s the best thing about being a professional Cricketer?

“There are so many things, my career has helped me to take care of my family, my sister, my friends and the popularity that I have now is all because of Cricket. I got Cricket because of my God, God gave it to me.”

Tell us about the tattoo on your arm, which says Philippians 4:13. . .

“I got this tattoo a few years ago and I see it every time that I go out to bat. No one would believe me, but I say a small prayer to Jesus before I face every single ball when I bat. When I feel uncomfortable out in the middle, I just look at this verse and I then feel confident, I feel like I have Jesus next to me.”

Why do you believe in Jesus?

“My father was a Buddhist but my mother a Christian, so I was baptised when I was small. I went to Church and learnt about Jesus at Sunday school. As Christians know, when you get baptised, my parents pledged to help me and then I will take over from my parents. Since then Jesus has helped me throughout my career.”

Is it difficult, being a Christian in Sri Lanka?

“There is a bit of criticism going on in Sri Lanka at the moment but I don’t care about criticism because I always believe in my God. I want to show non-believers what I can do through God, I want to praise him in the middle and show everyone that I am His child.”

In your Sri Lanka dressing room there are Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, do you get the chance to share your faith with others and are they interested?

“We are used to arguing about some Bible parts and verses, sometimes we used to say, this is what it means, we’ve had a few chats about that. Sometimes when we hang out, or go for a coffee we talk about God, but in this country a Christian wouldn’t really like to open up and say that Jesus is my God, because it is a Buddhist country. There’s nothing bad about that, but I’m not ashamed, I will talk about God to anyone. If I have a chance to explain what I have gone through and what I have become, through Christ, I would love to.”

Do you manage to get to Church, with your busy cricket schedule?

“We go to Church and if we are in another country, if we get a chance we will go, even alone, I don’t mind. I ask others to come before a match. If I get a chance to take anyone to Church or teach them anything about Christianity, I will do.”

What advice do you have for young aspiring cricketers in Sri Lanka?

“If you’re training do it properly and if you are studying, study hard. You will get what you want if you give it 100% with both your ability and your faith.”

Meet Curwin Bosch: The Springbok Rugby prodigy


You said on Twitter, ‘everything comes at the right time, be patient, trust the process. God is always on time.’ Why is that something that you believe in and hold on to as a Rugby player?

“That tweet that I made was basically a summary of what I had wanted to do in the last two years. I’ve told you that it’s been a frustrating time for me, for various reasons. I just feel that sometimes we try to control things that are outside of our control. Everything will happen at the right time, I might be frustrated now that I’m not in the Springbok squad, but everything is going to happen in God’s time and when he feels that I am ready for it. Maybe it was part of God’s plan, that he’s going to use these two years, which I might see as frustrating, to try and shape my heart, to build character within me. So that I can become the person that I’m set out to be.”

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

“As far as Rugby is concerned, I would like to cement myself in the Springbok line up by then. Obviously, that’s not only in my control. There are a lot of outside factors which could have an influence on that, but that is one of my goals and what I’m walking towards. On a personal note, one of my daily goals is just to keep growing in my personal faith. I’d like to spend more and more time with God every single day, get to know him in every situation of my life. Not just praise him when everything is going well but to keep the faith when things are tough Hopefully in five years time I will be married and have my first kid.”

Listen to the full episode below via the Planet Sport Rugby Podcast:

Is Boxing morally wrong?


As we continue our new ‘Hot Topics’ Planet Sport series, we recently looked at the issue of Boxing and if the sport is morally wrong? We get a Christian athlete perspective from former Welterweight World Champion, Chris ‘The Heat’ Van Heerden and get the views from our panel, Soccer Chaplain Andy Searles and Journalist Russ Bravo! Come join us on the new series!

Have a listen:

"I just sat there and prayed, Lord is this the end of my career?"

Reporter Tom Ellis (L) speaking with Kyron McMaster during the Commonwealth Games in Australia

Reporter Tom Ellis (L) speaking with Kyron McMaster during the Commonwealth Games in Australia

On this week’s Planet Sport we featured a double-header of serious Athletic talent, USA’s World and Olympic Triple Jump Champion, Christian Taylor, spoke to us about where his identity lies, plus Kyron McMaster speaks about winning the British Virgin Island’s first Commonwealth Games medal!

Listen to the Planet Sport interview below:

"I think every person has the power to achieve, if they believe"

Credit: British Athletics/Getty

Credit: British Athletics/Getty

Last weekend we attended the Birmingham Athletics Grand Prix, which is regarded as the best one-day indoor athletics event in the world!

Reporter Tom Ellis, caught up with the likes of Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou, the joint fastest woman in the world over 100 metres last year - plus GB Hurdler Cindy Ofili.

Listen to the Planet Sport interview below:

"What kept me steady was knowing that God had created me to be there"


American track athlete, Madeline Manning-Mims made history in clinching Gold at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. As a black athlete, her journey of challenging racial prejudice has left a long-lasting impact even today! She later went on to become a 4-time Olympian, a coach, a gospel singer and a chaplain.

Listen to the Planet Sport interview below:

Ezinne Okparaebo: 3-time Olympian and Norwegian 100m record holder!


Being the national record holder for any sporting event is highly impressive, but Ezinne Okparaebo has taken the 100m title for multiple years in a row, making her the undisputed, fastest woman in Norway!

Nigeria-born Ezinne, has turned out at 3 Olympic Games, Beijing, London and Rio, and still has hopes of making it 4 when Tokyo 2020 comes around.

We spoke to Ezinne about her love for the track, how she made a life herself in Scandinavia and importantly how her faith in Jesus has impacted on her career.

Listen to the Planet Sport interview below:

Saracens' Will Skelton talks Wallabies, World Cup ambitions & faith

On the latest Podcast we feature Saracens and Australia Rugby star, Will Skelton, who talks about his thoughts ahead of the Rugby World Cup next year in Japan and he tells us how important his faith in Jesus is to his on-field game.

That’s not all! USA Rugby’s Carlin Isles, the world’s fastest Rugby player, also joins us to play the ‘This or That’ game. Is he as quick with his words as he is with his feet?

Listen to the Planet Sport Rugby Podcast below:

Image Credit: Alasdair Massie

From child soldier to Olympian!

Julius Achon speaking to Planet Sport's Tom Ellis at the 2018 CW Games. 

Julius Achon speaking to Planet Sport's Tom Ellis at the 2018 CW Games. 

Planet Sport caught up with a Ugandan track legend, Julius Achon to hear about his amazing journey of facing adversity, pursuing his dreams and ultimately becoming an Olympian! 

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview below:

"When you pull on the red jersey, it's this pride that we have as Canadians"

Photo cred: Pierre-Yves Beaudouin

Photo cred: Pierre-Yves Beaudouin

Planet Sport caught up with Canadian basketballer, Ruth Hamblin to talk about what it means to represent her country, the perks of being 6ft 6" and how important her faith is to her.

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview below:

"I knew that if I really worked hard, it could happen"- Kare Adenegen

Credit- British Athletics/ Getty Images

Credit- British Athletics/ Getty Images

Planet Sport caught up with wheelchair racer Kare Adenegen, who in June, set the British T34 World Record. She tells us how it feels to be a world record holder and how her faith as a follower of Jesus Christ impacts her life on and off the track.

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview below:

"Deep down I'm a fighter and I'm not going to give up"- Wenda Nel

Wenda Nel.png

Olympic Hurdler Wenda Nel spoke to Planet Sport's Norman Brierley about what has been a tough season for the South African, but also how despite all of this, she continues to fight, to be an example to others and to 'live out the gift that she has been given'.

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview below:

"I still have a little bit more to offer, you don't have to reach 30 and then quit"- Collins Injera

Collins Injera.jpg

As the Rugby World Cup Sevens approaches, it seemed only right that we pull aside Kenya's Collins Injera, part of the furniture in the Shujaa changing room and responsible for scoring over 270 tries for his country.

Planet Sport's Norman Brierley spoke to the 31-year-old about how he can use all of his experience to help the young players in the squad, and how big a part 'faith' plays in his rugby. . .

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview below:

A San Francisco special: The Rugby World Cup Sevens


Next week sees the Rugby Sevens world converge on San Francisco for the World Cup, we caught up with Blitzboks' Branco Du Preez and Seabelo Senatla ahead of their involvement at the tournament.

Planet Sport's Norman Brierley spoke to the pair to find out what it means to be a part of this South Africa team and see how their preparations are coming along.

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview below:

"I'm a human being first and then an athlete second"

South Africa v New Zealand (Commonwealth Games 2018)

South Africa v New Zealand (Commonwealth Games 2018)

Keenan Horne plays for South Africa's Hockey team. At 26, he has broken into the national side and featured in their recent tournament at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year.

Planet Sport's Liam Flint spoke to the man himself, on Gold Coast, Australia, in amongst the busy competition schedule, to find out more about the number 10 and see what has propelled him to the top of the sport:

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview with Keenan below:

"They told me that I had small calf muscles, so I couldn't kick a ball"

Willy Ambaka.jpg

Meet Willy Ambaka, Kenya Rugby's star man in the sevens format. The 28-year-old winger has made over 30 appearances and notched 325 points for the Shujaa National Team and is a central figure in their HSBC Sevens Series campaign.

Planet Sport's Norman Brierley spoke to the man himself, at the HSBC Sevens meet at Twickenham, London, about where his love for Rugby came from and his hopes for Kenya as a rugby nation:

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview with Willy below:

"Women's football has always been brilliant, it's just had a lack of exposure"

Photo credit- Mark Thor

Photo credit- Mark Thor

Planet Sport recently caught up with Orlando Pride striker Chioma Ubogagu to get her take on the health of the women's game around the world, what it means to have a choice of three nationalities and why she recommends that all young players 'seek failure'.

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview with Chioma below:

Ronald Levy on winning Gold, the power of prayer and listening to his mother

Ronald Levy JAM.jpg

Jamaica have long been known for producing world-class athletes, one of the current generation is Ronald Levy. The 25-year-old Hurdler came home with Gold from the Commonwealth Games, with his fellow-countryman Hansel Parchment, taking Silver. 

Planet Sport caught up with the champion to reflect on what it means to be the best and to pick his brains on how to bounce back from life's challenges.

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview with Ronald below:

Looking ahead with Wallabies forward Scott Sio

Scott Sio2.jpg

26-year-old Scott Sio plays for Australian Super Rugby side, Brumbies, and has also been capped by the Wallabies 43 times to date.

The world-class forward took time out to chat to Planet Sport, about following in the sporting footsteps of his father, what it means to pull on the green and gold and how his faith in God helps him in life. 

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview with Scott below: