New Delhi, 13th February 2009: In a major boon for aspiring fast bowlers in the country, Gatorade, the World's No. 1 sports drink brand, today launched its first ever training academy in the world with the setting up of the Gatorade Centre for Pace Excellence in India.
In a move, which is set to give a tremendous boost to building a talent pool of budding pace bowlers, the academy will guide and train young fast bowlers to realize their potential at the national and international level. The move also marks the foray of the sports drink giant in the field of sports training.
Launching the Centre here today, Ms. Geetu Verma, Executive Director - Innovations and Business Development, PepsiCo India Holdings, said "The sweating and the need for instant rehydration, replenishment and refueling is very significant in fast bowlers. This is where Gatorade comes in. The Gatorade Centre for Pace Excellence will provide a comprehensive training program for talented fast bowlers. The Centre will make it possible for grass-root level aspiring pacers to imbibe international expertise in the best of Sports Science and Training and the Art of Pace Bowling.
"We are also delighted to have the pace bowling legend Wasim Akram joining the Centre as a Coach. His wealth of experience in bowling strategy coupled with Mr. T A Sekar's exemplary command over bowling technique and result-oriented coaching will certainly be an unbeatable combination and Gatorade is proud to be a catalyst in making this possible."
Mr. Wasim Akram, former Pakistan captain and one of all-time pace bowling greats of world cricket, who will be the Coach - Bowling Variation & Strategy of the Gatorade Centre for Pace Excellence said in a message, "The success that the winners of 2007 & 2008 rounds of Pacers have been able to achieve; not only talks about their own caliber but also of the sincerely efforts made by all at Gatorade Pacers to provide them best training and support. This initiative is special to me for another reason - it also inculcates the culture of Sports Science in the players at the young age; which I believe is critical if one were to consistently deliver at one's best over a long period of time. Optimal Hydration is a strong performance differentiator once you have similar skill and fitness levels. We learnt this the hard way, I am happy initiatives like this are exposing young students, coaches and administrators to the importance of optimal hydration
I am absolutely thrilled to have got this opportunity to be a part of the Gatorade Centre for Pace Excellence. It is an absolute privilege to be able to share my experience and expertise with budding pace bowlers. I am happy that my favourite sports drink Gatorade has initiated this Centre and together with Mr. Sekar, I will strive hard to make it as big success as it promises to be."
Mr. T A Sekar, India's leading fast bowling coach, with be the Chief Coach of the Centre said "I feel privileged to have learnt the basic of scientific coaching from the World's Best coaches and institutions. I am fortunate to have been able to put the knowledge and skill to good use. I have given 20 years to the mission of developing strike bowlers that will make India proud! I was delighted so see the same passion in Gatorade team. Gatorade is talent spotter and I am privileged to help them in both spotting and shaping the talent. What makes this initiative special, I think, is that it is conducted in a serious and result-oriented way. No wonder then that the initiative has seen the success it has seen. I am delighted to take it to the next level with the help of subject experts like Wasim and Ramji"
The Gatorade Centre for Pace Excellence will also have Mr. Ramji Srinivasan, India's eminent sports fitness expert, as the Chief Fitness Advisor. Mr Srinivasan will look after initial fitness assessment, individualized fitness plans for appropriate strengthening & conditioning and also injury prevention and management.
Wasim Akram, the Sultan of Swing, will impart cutting-edge knowledge about bowling variations and strategy which will cover identifying batsman's weaknesses, formulating bowling strategy basis the prevailing conditions and executing the same flawlessly. Akram will of course impart advanced knowledge of swing bowling to the Gatorade Pacers' national winners.
On the sidelines of the launch of the Centre, the national winners of the 2009 edition of its Pace Bowling Talent Hunt - Gatorade Pacers, were also announced.
A panel of selectors led by Mr. Sekar today also announced the names of 8 winners, who have been selected for the 15-day national camp at the Gatorade Centre for Pace Excellence. The winners are:
The lucky winners will receive once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be trained at the Gatorade Centre for Pace Excellence through a comprehensive training program designed by T A Sekar. There will be two training camps- one in July and the second one is scheduled to take place in October.
'Gatorade Pacers' 2009 edition saw over 67500 aspirants from over 2000 schools, colleges, Sports Clubs as well as State Cricket Associations across India in the regional rounds. These rounds were held for u-15 & u-22 talent across the seven cities of Chandigarh, New Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore.
Eminent coaches and selectors associated with Gatorade Pacers such as Mr Javagal Srinath, Mr T A Sekar, Mr Suru Nayak, Mr Uday Gupte, Mr Venkatpathy Raju, Mr Ashish Kapoor, Mr David Johnson, evaluated the participants during the selection rounds. The selection criteria involved measuring bowling speed with a Speed Gun, Accuracy as measured by line judges and the chief selector's assessment of the participants bowling action and potential. Two additional parameters - fielding skills and fitness were also included in the national finals round.
Mrinall Kanti Dey
General Manager - Corporate Communication
PepsiCo India Holdings
Alliance Public Relations